Fascinating historic ceramics are being displayed alongside striking contemporary sculptures in a new celebration of Yorkshire’s potted history.
The new Yorkshire Pots and People exhibition runs at Lotherton Hall until December and will see ceramics displayed throughout the beautiful Edwardian country house, telling the story of how pottery has been created and used in Yorkshire over thousands of years.
Objects on display include wares made at the historic Burmantofts Pottery, where ceramics were manufactured for almost a century, and The Leeds Pottery, also known as Hartley Greens and Co, which was founded in Hunslet in 1770.
Adam Toole, assistant curator at Lotherton, said: “Pottery and ceramics have been an integral part of human civilisation for thousands of years, helping us to cook, store food, transport goods and decorate our homes.
“The ways in which the manufacture, appearance and uses of pottery have developed over the centuries parallels how society in Yorkshire and beyond has also changed, reflecting everything from our industry and our wealth, to our artistic tastes.”
As well as pottery manufactured in Leeds and other Yorkshire factories, the exhibition also looks at techniques used by different generations of Yorkshire potters, including the creation of Leeds slipware pottery unearthed near Lazencroft Farm, in Cross Gates. On loan for the exhibition is also a spectacularly gilded dessert plate made for King William IV.
Those historic objects are displayed alongside beautiful contemporary sculptural ceramics by Yorkshire-based artists Rebecca Appleby, Loretta Braganza and James Oughtibridge.
Displayed within the beautiful historic interiors of the hall, these contemporary pieces demonstrate the versatility of clay and how it is skilfully used by Yorkshire artists to create unique sculptures.
Loretta, who has exhibited her work around the world, said: “I am absolutely delighted that my work has been chosen to illustrate the exciting transition of pots from traditional to contemporary.
“I hope the wonderful setting of the period room challenges viewers to discover the connections and contrasts between all the work on display here.”
Coun Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, added: “The engaging story of Yorkshire pottery and the people who have made very much reflects the story of Leeds and Yorkshire itself, showing how our city and our region have developed over the centuries.
“It’s also inspiring to see such absorbing and innovative work still being produced today by our Yorkshire artists and sculptors who are keeping centuries of heritage alive in new and exciting ways.”
Yorkshire - Pots and People is on display until December 31.