Collaboration or Conquest - Joan Prokop

Inspiration details:

Jug

Jug

1938 (made)

Cardew, Michael, born 1901 - died 1983 (makers)

Earthenware, slip decoration in white on black under an amber glaze

V&A collection reference number(s):
CIRC.318-1938, CIRC.588-1965, CIRC.588-1965

Artist Statement

Joan Prokop

Our class had done a previous pottery project, which made me think that I could tackle something based on two of my favourite potters in the V&A collection. My teacher encouraged me to pursue my idea, including my rejection of a more obvious abstract representation. She also helped me think about how to balance the picture and show the direction of influence, with the progression of strong yellow into the woman’s pot.
The potters are both brilliant. They learned from each other and contributed to each other’s fame. However, their written narrative is an unequal one. There are thousands of words devoted to the white, upper class man, but the description of Gwari woman is limited to a description of her as “illiterate” and “strong”. She merely follows her “tradition”, but he is a “pioneer”.
I tried to illustrate this through a fairly realistic picture of the pots themselves, with the man’s pot obtruding into the woman’s pot. I chose a fairly realistic representation because the beauty of these ceramics lies in the union of form, glaze and decoration. The African background is represented by a detailed African textile in the V&A collection. Although it is modern and of unknown origin, there certainly would have been indigo dying in the Abuga region.
The picture is in gouache, graphite and muslin. I wanted to use materials which reflect the textures of the clay and I liked the contrast between the painting/ drawing materials and the paint/ muslin mix.

Collaboration or Conquest - Joan Prokop

No Image

Inspiration details:

Jug

Jug

1938 (made)

Cardew, Michael, born 1901 - died 1983 (makers)

Earthenware, slip decoration in white on black under an amber glaze

V&A collection reference number(s):
CIRC.318-1938, CIRC.588-1965, CIRC.588-1965

2015 Exhibition Guide

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