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Laura White makes new artwork for the Museum of Royal Worcester

30th August 2018

Artist Laura White is returning to her home city of Worcester with a new artwork, commissioned for a collaborative exhibition by Meadow Arts and the Museum of Royal Worcester.

The Precious Clay is an ambitious exhibition, exploring the medium of porcelain in contemporary art. The artists in the show range from the world-renowned to those at the beginning of their art careers; their works respond to porcelain’s rich history and the nature of the material in a host of lively and inventive ways.

Artist laura white in her studioThough based in London for many years, Laura White was born and grew up in Worcester. She has worked with the Museum of Royal Worcester’s archives and its historic collections to create a new installation artwork, called White Mud.

“To explore her deep interest in materiality, objects and the ‘stuff’ of life, Laura immerses herself totally in the making process. In the past she has gone as far as taking up butchery and commercial bakery as part of her research!” says Anne de Charmant, curator of the show and Director of Meadow Arts.

The artist digitally scanned key objects from the museum to make 3D printed replicas, which have then been used to make moulds to cast from. Similar moulds have also been made from more familiar, everyday objects, including plastic containers and fashionable household ornaments, which, combined with the museum copies, “perform a medley of interactions”.

White says, “Bringing these different types of objects together using the same material conflates different histories and questions how we value objects depending on their materiality and the context in which we come across them – from the museum to the domestic, the perfect to the damaged, and what our expectations are of different materials, in particular porcelain.”

Laura White’s installation reflects on the production Sculpture created from eclectic 'found' objectsof porcelain today, such as how the digital environment has impacted porcelain production, from handmade museum collectables to the mass-produced, digitally designed, slip cast crockery we use every day in our homes. More work by Laura White, a colourful installation of sculptures fashioned from eBay and charity shop finds called The Esque Collection, will be on show at Worcester Cathedral from 10 Jan to 8 Feb 2019.

The Precious Clay at the Museum of Royal Worcester is a group exhibition showing work by artists including Annie Attridge, Barnaby Barford, Bouke de Vries, Céline Berger, Christine Borland, Clare Twomey, Edmund de Waal, Edward Chell, Emily Speed, Fernando Casasempere, Jessica Harrison, Leonora Lockhart, Livia Marin, Matteo Nasini, Mona Hatoum, Neil Brownsword, Rachel Kneebone and Rosa Nguyen, plus a special interactive project by Storymine, with a chance for members of the public to help in the making of an artwork.

The Precious Clay is an opportunity to see the museum’s newly displayed world-class collection through the eyes and imaginations of contemporary artists. The exhibition will unfold throughout the museum, introducing contemporary work into the displays where the newly renovated museum’s collection is presented, as well as in the special exhibitions room.

Museum Director, Amanda Savage, explains, “One of the most important aims when redesigning the museum exhibits and displays was to create space and opportunity to allow for exhibitions such as this. The Precious Clay is an example of how new and exciting works can be created by referencing Royal Worcester’s heritage and result in making the collections accessible and relevant to new audiences.”

The programme includes public workshops and activities throughout its timespan, plus a symposium bringing together academics and artists for a day of discussion and learning in February 2019.

20 Sept 2018 – 20 Mar 2019: The Precious Clay

Museum of Royal Worcester Severn St, Worcester WR1 2ND

8 January – 10 February 2019: Laura White - The Esque Collection

Worcester Cathedral 8 College Yard Worcester WR1 2LA