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Vladka Thwaites

Vladka creates vessels and decorative plates that explore memories, dreams and the subconscious. A combination of historical influences and a conceptual approach informs her choice of forms and decorations.  Her pieces are adorned with abstracted motifs, symbols and a palimpsest of textures and details.  The viewer is invited to create their own narrative interpretations and sense of place.  She works predominantly with black clay and porcelain, using hand-building, throwing and, occasionally, slip-casting techniques.

In her ‘Shadows’ collection of coil-built black vessels, Vladka reconceptualises the Ancient Greek ‘lekythos’ form. Along with her ‘Indications’ collection of porcelain and stoneware decorative plates, surfaces are embellished with elements of the disassociated hieroglyphics of street and pavement ironmongery.  She aims to introduce an element of the sacred or memorialised into her work, encouraging a conversation between ancient and contemporary visual cues.

One of her earliest memories is walking hand-in-hand through the city with her mother, looking down at the pavement.  The uneven lines and cracks beneath her feet were punctuated by flashes of the iconography of coal hole covers and ironmongery.  Her recent work delves further in to the conceptual inspiration of the 19th century flaneuse, who negotiated the urban landscape with the female body, collecting images and inspiration that sustained their artistic creativity once they returned into the home.

She was born in Athens, with Croatian and English heritage. After a peripatetic childhood, she has settled and works in West London and also spends time in the rural Black Mountain setting of the Welsh borders.  She has recently graduated from Morley College London with an HND in Ceramic.  As well as developing her artistic projects, she enjoys making functional tableware.