For three weeks the Artists’ Studio was transformed by an exhibition of Ann Stokes' ceramic objects.
Both original and inventive her work takes inspiration from the natural world, plants, animals and trees as well as ancient Greek, Cretan and Etruscan ceramics. Her diverse pieces, including plates, cups, dishes, wall-tiles, mirrors and cooking pots, combine a liberal painterly-ness with a fluidity of movement and splashes of brilliant colour.
Born in 1922, Ann Stokes was married to the painter Adrian Stokes and spent many years living in St Ives surrounded by well known artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo and Ben Nicholson as well as numerous poets and writers. From there she moved to her current home in Church Row, Hampstead Village where since 1957 she has filled her living and working space, both in and outdoors, with her wonderful earthenware objects. In 1966 she attended Mohammed Abdulla’s ceramic classes at Camden Arts Centre and in 1985 was the first ever potter to be selected for the Hayward Annual.
She is constantly experimenting with new ways of making, painting and producing ceramics, resulting in pieces which are intuitive, playful and contain a wonderful sense of humour, energy and unique vision.
“She sees the fishiness of fish, the movement of boats and horses, and perceives that our eyes are often humorous, our minds drawn to visual puns and metamorphoses.” Grey Gowrie