A Journey Painted in Clay

Agalis Manessi


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Unicorn Publishing Group
4 October 2023
ISBN: 9781911397571
112 pages

From the publisher

Of all the ceramic processes, Maiolica truly requires a painter's touch. Combining a confident sensitivity of brushwork and a vision of what might be once the subtle blends of oxides fuse with the tin glaze in the firing, it is both a rewarding and unforgiving art form. A Journey Painted in Clay celebrates the ceramic work of Agalis Manessi through its various forms of expression over a career spanning fifty years. Inspired by many historical and contemporary sources, her work is a fusion of her Mediterranean heritage and annual travels across Europe between Greece and London. Ideas are drawn from the experience of viewing subjects in churches, museums and galleries and observations directly from life. Animated vessels express a gentle humour that is offset by the suggestive poise of their condensed forms, camouflaged within the painted surface. Following in the tradition of English Delft, portrait dishes are softly coiled, with painted images built up of composite features worked up from notebook sketches. Modelled animals and figures take on a more enigmatic nature, communicating a silent yet eloquent poise. With a foreword from Jenni Lomax, curator and former director of Camden Arts Centre, and contributions from Megan Brooks, Tanya Harrod, Mina Holland, Marina Papasotiriou, Michael Petry and Liz Rideal.