This was the first of our Makers Lunches in 2020. I was delighted that Sharon Griffin agreed to open this year’s programme. She is one of a number of makers showing at Bevere this year.
I was immediately taken with her work when I saw it for the first time at Oxford Ceramic Fair in 2019. Self-evidently she is a skilled sculptural ceramicist, primarily of the human form. She particularly seeks an underlying narrative so that one or more aspects of our lives will be evident in this remarkable work. I have already discovered that the more time I spend with Sharon’s work the more I see in every piece. Like all work of this kind it benefits from simply looking.
Sharon has a background in fine art and for a number of years she painted prolifically. She brought along prints and books which illustrated her considerable talent … although she now focuses exclusively on her ceramic sculpture.
Early on during our time together, she gave a frank and open insight into her extraordinary early life involving considerable family trauma. We were all left with admiration at the way her innate talent had broken through and her artistic ambition had overcome many personal difficulties.
Clay is her canvas now and interestingly there is a sense with most of her work that she is sketching in clay – this is why looking closely at individual pieces is so revealing. She is currently thinking about making larger work and also working in bronze – a material which she admires. She spent time discussing her approach to clay and the use of different clays for her pieces including porcelain, which is of course not easy to work with although the outcome is stunning.
Sharon has lived in Telford all her life and she is clearly influenced by the communities that surround her, whether they be rural or industrial particularly the heritage of places like Ironbridge. Sharon is highly sensitive to her environment and is a close observer of people. All of this and her life to date have contributed significantly to her inspirational work.
This was a most enjoyable two hours with Sharon and we are particularly grateful that she gave up part of her Birthday to be with us. Do come to Bevere and see her work if you can, you will not be disappointed.