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Ceramic vase bought for Perth Museum and Art Gallery
Kate Malone, A Very Large Fennel Vase, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, © Kate Malone Ceramics.

PERTH.- National fundraising charity the Art Fund has helped Perth Museum and Art Gallery to buy a vase by prominent British ceramicist Kate Malone. A Very Large Fennel Vase by Kate Malone (2010) was bought for £5,400, of which the Art Fund contributed £1,700.

The vase, 58cm in height, is reminiscent of a fennel bulb, and has been finished with a crystalline glaze.

The vase is a statement piece within Perth Museum and Art Gallery’s existing collection of contemporary ceramics, and has great affinity with the work of the Martin Brothers which is well represented by the museum’s collection.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund said: “This is a striking example of Kate Malone’s most recent work and sits very well amongst the impressive ceramics collection at Perth.”

Sandra Martin, Art Officer at Perth, said: “Kate Malone has made an enormous contribution to the world of ceramics and for this reason we are thrilled to be able to feature an example of her work in the collection at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. A Very Large Fennel Vase captures Kate Malone’s work at this precise moment in time but it also references the archetypal elements of her artistic oeuvre. This addition to the collection is very significant and marks our long-term commitment to reinvigorating our collections through the addition of contemporary works.”

Kate Malone graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1986, and has since made an enormous contribution to the British ceramics scene with her use of shapes inspired by forms of nature and extraordinary use of glazes. She is well known for her colourful creations, often in the shape of fruit, vegetables and fish. Her work is highly sought-after and represented in museums and galleries around the world.

The Fennel vases are a new development that Malone began while living in Barcelona last year. Although the vase is a new piece, it is similar in spirit to the gourd pots Malone has become famous for – a new twist on a familiar theme. It was created for the exhibition Kate Malone: New Work, 3-19 November 2010 at Robilant & Voena, London, and is not currently represented in any other museums.

The vase shows Malone’s experimental use of crystalline glazing, a technique which often produces unpredictable results that are hard to control. Covering the pot with crystals which grow during the firing process has created an unusual effect that gives the impression of iridescent lichen, as if the pot is still growing.

The acquisition of this work was also made possible through funding from the National Fund for Acquisitions, and by a grant of £1000 by Perth Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

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