Grayson Perry (Turner Prize Winner and Chancellor of University of the Arts London), Donald Smith (Director of Chelsea Space and Chairman of Chelsea Arts Club), Amy Jayne Hughes (V&A Resident Ceramicist) and Cherie Silver (Programme Curator at Chelsea Space) select Emma Neuberg’s painting, Cloud Buds, for their exciting new public project, The Democratic Dish.

The artwork is one of several designs created in response to the collection of Simon Wilson, art historian and former Curator of Interpretation at Tate, and his wife Alessandra, that was on show at Chelsea Space gallery, London, in October 2018: The Democratic Dish: Mintons Secessionist Ware.

In Simon’s words:

“The title of this exhibition of Mintons Secessionist Ware at Chelsea Space has its origins in a paper I presented at the 1992 Association of Art Historians (AAH) conference, The Subversive Plate: Mintons Secessionist Ware, Art Nouveau Art Pottery for a Mass Market or The Democratic Dish. This title was an attempt to signal some of the important social and aesthetic issues surrouding Art Nouveau in general, and particularly that are focused in Mintons’s contribution to it in the form of Secessionist Ware.”

Neuberg was compelled to enter the competition after attending the corresponding seminar, Collecting, Making & the Place of Ceramics in Art & Society Today, with an introduction by Simon Grant. The slides of Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque, Japonerie, watercolour-like slipware and pastoral landscape designs presented in the papers inspired her to design a ‘contemporary twist’ to the original Secessionist Ware.

Neuberg submitted two designs for The Democrtic Dish design competition, Cloud Buds (see the original drawing above) and Blooms Blur, inspired by two of the original pots illustrated in Mintons’ 1901 catalogue and listed as Pot Numbers 12 Design and 15 Design. She then distorted them using her signature style in Photoshop and fitted them to the prescribed 11 inch circular dish template.

Grayson Perry announced the winners on October 31st 2018 and three of the four finalists went on to spend a day in the Ceramics Studio at Chelsea College of Art & Design with curator and judges, Cherie Silver and Amy Jayne Hughes, learning to apply the printed decals in The Democratic Dish’s Transfer Project.

Neuberg’s final design is on show at Chelsea Cafe from 27th November 2018 – 14th January 2019 alongside winning entries by Eva Scott, Ella Rose-Caton and Melissa Newberry-Welcome. Several platters were created for the private collections of the judges and the UAL Chelsea Space Archives.

Emma Neuberg_plate_photo by Cherie Silver

Discover more about the project and Neuberg’s longterm competition history at University of the Arts London, spanning 30 years, at Chelsea Space Projects.