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The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen

Place Setting is a new work for the group exhibition ‘The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen’ at South Square Centre, Thornton. The show opens tomorrow (Saturday 8 February) and closes on Sunday 2 March 2014.

Place Setting is made up of 22 china tea and coffee cups turned upside down, to create a fairy ring of china ‘mushrooms’ on the gallery floor.

The cheap, mass-produced, mostly transfer printed, china challenges William Morris’s romance of craft and production and his command ‘‘to have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

Place Setting exploits the transformative power of the ‘ready-made’ or found object. The act of making a cup resemble a mushroom responds to the natural world and the flora and fauna that the Arts and Crafts Movement referenced in their work. In arranging the cups in the form of a fairy ring, I also want to make a connection between the idealism of Morris and the location of Thornton. It is a place setting rich in folklore and myth making from Brontë shrines, Cottingley with its dubious photographic fairies, to nearby Keighley, once the centre of British theosophy and spiritualism.

Place Setting
22 China cups, 22 Tesco Toilet Tissue cardboard cores, some IKEA cardboard packaging

The Most Beautiful Things Cannot Be Seen
Taking the work of William Morris as a starting point, this group exhibition explores the relationship between beauty, nature and imagination.

Curated by Samina Hamid.

South Square Centre
South Square
Thornton
Bradford
BD13 3LD

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