Julian Stair’s work re-examines familiar historical pottery idioms within a contemporary context, employing a visual language ranging from cups and tea-pots to monumental jars, and using everything from fine glazed porcelain to coarse engineering brick clays. For Chatsworth, Julian has returned to a vessel format he has not formally explored since the 1990s. “This project is a response to the extraordinary historical collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain in Chatsworth. Walking through the State Apartment out of hours at dusk and seeing how the brilliance of the white porcelain with its luminous blue decoration stood out against the dark wooden panelling was a revelation. This experience unlocked the reality of the Wunderkammer and how porcelain pots sitting on top of gilded furniture must have appeared luminescent when sited in the domestic architectural spaces lit by candlelight.” One of the leading potters of our time, Julian has exhibited internationally over the last 30 years and has work in the Victoria & Albert Museum, British Council, American Museum of Art & Design, Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Netherlands, amongst others. In 2002 Julian completed a PhD at the Royal College of Art researching the critical origins of English studio pottery. Julian’s solo touring exhibition Quietus: The vessel, death and the human body
, opened at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2012.