One of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists, David Mach, has been announced as the artist behind a newly commissioned work for the centre of St Austell. It will be one of a programme of exciting new commissioned by the Whitegold Project.
Composed of hundreds of fragments, broken pieces of vase, parts of teapots, segments of teacups, plates, saucers, and everything ceramic, Mach’s commission, entitled ‘ Earthly Delights ‘ is set to be installed by the Summer of 21, the fragments it’s made up of will ‘ tile ‘ most of a wall some 19 metres wide.
The idea comes from picking up 1000’s of pieces of pottery on his local beach in Scotland, all made with the same clay that comes out of Cornwall. Collecting fragment on the beach is a common thing to do in the UK and an activity that binds and connects us. We walk our beaches. We pick up these small pieces, remnants of whole objects all designed, patterned and illustrated in a wide variety of colours and shapes, sizes and styles. Mach wants to use these to make his installation and to extend that connection.
“I’d like to you give me the pieces of broken ceramic you’ve found on the beach, the fragments, the shards, or even whole ceramics you may have kept. Something with a story to tell. I want to hear it. Why you kept it. Where you found it, who gave it to you? Is it an heirloom? Was it your parents, your mothers thimble, your dad’s ashtray, your wife’s jewellery tree. Is it just a piece of your favourite mug? I’ll collect all your stories together and set the ceramics together in a wall into one large eclectic and vibrant artwork in St Austell.
A hand from a damaged figurine, the lettering from a salt cellar, the spout of a teapot, the handle of a cup. A small thing you haven’t let go of yet. A holiday souvenir, a wedding gift, a commemorative plate. The wall will stand as a kind of monument to St Austell but not just to the town. It’ll celebrate the far-reaching impact of the Cornish China Clay industry, its history and how that goes out into the UK, into Europe and indeed out into the world.”