Paul Scott

Cumbrian Blues, Updated Narratives, Transferware for the 21st Century

Monday, November 8, 2021

2 PM via Zoom

Blue and white Staffordshire transferwares were initially developed to imitate painted Chinese export porcelains.  In the early 19th century, a particular dark blue version of the genre depicting American subjects and landscapes became popular in the newly independent United States. Later that century, William Cowper Prime was to assert that, "In memorializing both the triumph of war and peace, transferware ranks in historical collections with the vases of Greece...men will say that these show the tastes, these illustrate the home life, of the men and women who were the founders and rulers of the American Republic."  Historical transferwares became highly collectible, resulting in a second wave of imitative wares well into the 20th century.

In his new American Scenery body of artwork, showing simultaneously as part of Raid the Icebox exhibit now at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, Rhode Island, and as a solo exhibit at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, UK, Paul Scott updates the highly selective narrative.  The work is a nuanced representation of the American landscape that considers cultural diversity, political upheaval, ecological peril, and the post-industrial economy, updated narratives that strip away the nationalistic imagery of historical transferware motifs.  In an image-packed presentation for the Connecticut Ceramics Circle that shows diverse aspects of his research from journeys across America to times spent in the ceramic industry's archives, Paul Scott will interweave the historical and contemporary in order to document the development of the Cumbria Blue(s) artworks over the past 30 years.

Paul Scott is a Cumbrian, England-based artist with a diverse practice and an international reputation.  Creating individual pieces that blur the boundaries between fine art, craft and design, he is well known for research into printed vitreous surfaces, as well as his characteristic blue and white transferwares.  Scott's artworks can be found in public collections around the globe, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museums in Oslo, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Liverpool; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Birmingham, Alabama Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.  His commissioned work can be found in a number of public places in the North of England; he has also completed large-scale works in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in the Guldagergaard public sculpture park in Skælskør, Denmark.  In 2020 he worked with the Spode archives to create a new tea ware design for Fortnum & Mason.  Scott received his Bachelor's of Art Education and Design at Saint Martin's College, Lancaster, and his Ph.D. at MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, England.

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