A large, one-off ceramic sculpture by Ginny Sims. White stoneware oxides, glazes, gold lustre, 2021 - one-off, signed piece.
Approx: 35 x 11 x 14cm
“I create functional and sculptural objects that are highly narrative. For inspiration, I look to different moments in ceramic history“
The Pleasure Garden consists of a series of masquerade figures by American ceramic artist Ginny Sims. These extraordinary hand-built figures are one-off pieces and explore the 18th century work of the Flemish modeller Joseph Willems.
Willems produced a range of original models called ‘masqueraders' and were based on the masked revellers to be seen at the London pleasure gardens in the 1700’s.
He created these figures for the Chelsea Porcelain factory in the style of the German Meissen factory, and now Ginny Sims continues this tradition, creating her own version of late night revellers in masks, hats and costumes picked out in gold lustre as they perform or lounge around the imagined garden.
Ginny’s hand is visible in the finished pieces, thumb marks in the clay, pushing and smoothing into energetic forms until a character emerges. As if wandering through the pleasure garden in a haze of intoxication, the twisted bodies are contorted from malleable material into solid yet ethereal forms.
As a teacher of ceramics and art history at Minneapolis College it’s not surprising that her distinctive and original work looks to past for inspiration. She collects page after page of shapes and ideas in her prolific sketch books stretching back to her time honing her craft from master potters in England, Italy and Scotland.