War and Pieces

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Bouke De Vries: War & Pieces

Ceramic artist Bouke de Vries has created a unique contemporary installation on the Holburne’s Ballroom table. His work is inspired by the eighteenth-century fashion for decorating banqueting tables with extravagant porcelain and sugar sculptures, War & Pieces draws on the tradition of grand banquets and balls held on the eve of battle.

The centre-piece is a dramatic atomic-bomb mushroom cloud made using shards of white ceramics, old and new, around which the table is set with an intervention incorporating Sir William Holburne’s Chinese tobacco-leaf pattern dinner service. A battle will be fought out along the table with figures derived from 1770s Derby porcelain, some of which have mutated into cyborgs using elements from plastic toys – a new and contemporary material fighting to defeat the forces of sugar and ceramic.

Friday 9 November, Symposium 10am-5pm
Subversive Ceramics: exploring ideas in contemporary ceramic practice
Ticket £40/£20
Places are limited, please book early to avoid disappointment (lunch not included)

A Symposium at Bath’s Holburne Museum exploring different approaches to contemporary ceramic practice, to accompany the exhibition War & Pieces by Bouke de Vries.

Speakers to include: James Beighton (Senior Curator, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), Dr Bonnie Kemske (Editor of Ceramic Review Magazine); Prof Paul Scott (National Academy of the Arts, Oslo); Prof Moira Vincentelli (Curator of Ceramics, University of Wales); and Bouke de Vries.

Convened and chaired by Dr Jo Dahn, Bath Spa University

The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB

Exhibition & Study Day Supported by
Arts Council England
Royal Netherlands Embassy



Ballroom Gallery


10am to 5pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am to 5pm