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Exhibitions installation Interactive art

Sonic Bees

Throwback Thursday: Electro Bees in the Black Country Aug 2016

Back in the depths of Winter 2015 Jon was approached by Creative Black Country to contribute a work of art for a field of ceramic flowers, being ‘grown’ by community groups in West Bromwich and the surrounding area.

He submitted several ideas, but the one that really captured the imagination of CBC was a swarm of touch sensitive ceramic bees that buzzed when handled.

Jon’s practice is interactive and playful and the more layers of engagement the better. FAB LAB were the technology collaborators on this occasion with notable and outstanding ‘problem solving’ contribution from Anne Scrimshaw.

The bees were also featured on BBC Midlands today.jon the potter on midlands today with his electro beespotter jon williams being interviewed for midlands todaymidlands today reporter satnam rana makes a pot on the potter's wheel at eastnor pottery

Categories
Exhibitions installation Interactive art

Hereford Ceramic Sound Trail

Throwback Thursday: Hereford Ceramic Sound Trail 2015

Having been inspired by the success of my solo exhibition Sensational Clay, I was keen to explore in more detail some of the threads I’d been developing for the show – particularly the sonic possibilities. I was interested in adding a digital aspect to my work and contacted the digital sound artist Ashley Brown to see if he was interested in a collaboration. He was! and our work together culminated in three installations in three cultural venues in the city of Hereford. A promotional map and leaflet was also produced by Reeves Design.

The whole project was generously funded by Arts Council England

The Hereford Times ran the story:

HEREFORDSHIRE based potter Jon Williams from Eastnor Pottery has combined the core elements of his practice; ceramics, sound and public engagement, to produce three, site specific, interactive works of art in Hereford.

Visitors to The Cider Museum, Waterworks Museum and Old House Museum will have the opportunity to play and explore ceramic installations inspired by the different venues.

Musical Apples (10 green bottles) at The Cider Museum is a series of oversized ceramic apples with bronze leaves and stalks, displayed on eight magnificent Kilderkin barrels. Visitors are encouraged to gently caress the leaves to produce musical notes recorded from tinkling cider bottles.

Visitors to the Waterworks Museum on Broomy Hill will encounter a potter’s bench full of rustic jugs of various sizes and hand-thrown in a selection of different clays. Musical Jugs (Jack and Jill) can be tuned by filling the vessels with water and gently tapping the pots with beaters.

terracotta and porcelain jugs by hereforshire maker jon williams displayed at the waterworks museum hereford

Musical Hotpots (Oranges and Lemons) at Old House Museum is inspired by the historic use of the magnificent timber-framed building. It’s been both a bank and a butchers shop. Museum visitors can play the terracotta and ceramic bone xylophone.

“Although clay is the primary material, I’ve collaborated with other artists and craftspeople to realise the work,” said Jon. “Artist blacksmith, Andrew Findlay and wooden furniture maker Timothy Hawkins, both based in Herefordshire but with national and international reputations, contributed to the making.”

Two of the installations rely on digital and electronic wizardry to fantastic effect. This has been enabled by Creative Technologist, Ashley Brown, who Jon worked with throughout the design and production.

The project was funded by Arts Council England and has taken Jon and his collaborators 12 months to develop and install, and all the elements are now permanent features at the museums.

arts council england logo

Categories
Exhibitions Interactive art

Sensational Clay

Throwback Thursday: Sensational Clay

A Bilston Craft Gallery Touring Exhibition 2011 – 2015

Sensational Clay was my solo show and a culmination of many months of work, exploring ideas of invention, interaction and participation with clay.

All the works in the exhibition were inspired by the five senses: touch, taste, sound, smell and sight. Every item encouraged visitors to interact and explore, inviting them to experience the objects in a very different way than in a typical gallery setting.

A short film accompanied the exhibition which gave further insight into my practice and the processes used:

Included in the exhibition were:

Giant bowls of sand that visitors can delve into to discover hidden treasures

Tables filled with food inspired ceramics, such as giant teacups and biscuits

art gallery visitors playing ceramic drum pots by herefordshire ceramic artist jon williamschild playing percussion on pottery drum pots made by ceramic artist jon williams

Interactive musical pots and rattle pots

Scented ceramic forms, reminiscent of pineapples, coconuts and bananas

sensory ceramic doodle plates by ceramic artist jon williams exhibited at bilston craft gallery 2011

Textured ‘clay doodle’ plates

The exhibition toured a further four UK art galleries and was experienced by approximately 12000 visitors. The other venues were:

New Brewery Arts – Cirencester

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Worcester Museum and Art Gallery

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

arts council england logo

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Exhibitions

Water Play Ceramics at Leamington Spa Museum & Art Gallery

A couple of pots from the Museum’s ceramic collection that inspired Jon to make his interactive, water play ceramics for the exhibition MAKING HISTORIES currently on show at Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery in Warwickshire.

pottery watering can leamington spa museum ceramics collectionartists thumb over pottery watering can leamington spa museum ceramics collectionThe first two photos are of a large, flat based, stoneware bottle with an arrangement of tiny holes pierced in the base. Submerged and filled with water, the liquid is magically held within the vessel by placing a thumb over the bottle top! When the thumb is released, the vacuum is broken and the water sprays out of the base like a watering can hose. The function of this piece was not horticultural, but to quell atmospheric dust. They were used on busy, dusty high streets before the advent of tarmac. Fastidious shop keepers attempted to limit the amount of dirt settling on their shop windows by watering the pavements outside their premises.

Here are Jon’s pieces he developed for the exhibition. Each piece sits in it’s own water tank and is 100% designed to be played with by Gallery visitors. Photos by George Nash.

large mouth whale in water by jon williams 2020large mouth whale in water by jon williams 2020doughnut octopus by jon williams 2020doughnut octopus in water by jon williams 2020ceramic bubble fish by jon williamsceramic bubble fish by jon williamsjelly fish rattle by jon williams 2020jelly fish by jon williams 2020

Categories
Exhibitions

Making Histories Exhibition available online

Jon’s been busy making new work for an exhibition entitled ‘Making Histories’ scheduled to have opened 20 March 2020 at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum.

He was one of seven contemporary ceramic artists from the across the Midlands, invited to respond to the Museum’s diverse collection of ceramics. All commissioned artists were to exhibit new work alongside some of the historical objects that inspired them. Then COVID-19 hit!

Needless to say, the Gallery closed and the exhibition cancelled, not before the exhibitions team had spent weeks installing the show.

Undeterred, the team at Leamington have been working incredibly hard to make the exhibition available online. And here it is! – a video complete with commentary by exhibitions curator Lily Crowther.

Prior to delivery, photographer George Nash took some smashing photographs of Jon’s exhibits. We’ll post a few up here on the website along with the historical items that inspired Jon’s making. Watch this space….