A Moment in Which to Breathe Courtesy of Edmund de Waal

'On Travel in Winter' 2011 by Edmund de Waal
8 thrown porcelain vessels inside a lead lined, black laquer vitrine

Spent a lovely afternoon yesterday at the opening of, 'Backbone: Modern British Sculptors' at the NewArtCentre, Wiltshire (exhibition previously mentioned in post 23.3.11). A busy, bubbling gathering complemented by the gorgeous, sunny weather. 
In the midst of all of the chat I found myself infront of the Edmund de Waal piece above and slowly the background noise faded away as I became absorbed in the tranquility of the work. 
The more I see of his work the more I like it - a flat photograph on a computer screen doesn't do it justice. There's a sense that nothing is excessive in his work; it's carefully considered. It doesn't shout for attention. Yesterday it had the power to make me stop, breathe and really enjoy the moment viewing a piece of work I was seeing for the first time.  

The thoughtful, measured way in which de Waal's ceramic work is approached is also reflected in his writing. If you haven't come across 'The Hare with the Amber Eyes' yet, it's well worth seeking out. Beautifully written, it's the true story of an inheritance of hundreds of Japanese Netsuke passed onto de Wal by a favourite Uncle. The book maps the journey of the netsuke as they are passed along generations of the author's family dating back to the 1800's and charts the fascinating history of the family too.