Hilary Mayo

Hilary Mayo makes hand built sculptural vessels in her garden studio in North London.

Her practice responds to observed details in the landscape with current focus on the geology and topography of the Suffolk coast, a place she has frequented for over 20 years; where the flat land meets big open skies and has a beguiling beauty all of its own. Erosion is a constant theme of this exposed coastline. The elements, battering, wearing, sculpting; imprinting the landscape over time and leaving their mark.

Cliffs crumble. Peeling paint and rust adorned fishermen huts and boats. Unyielding, ancient flint has its edges smoothed and wooden groynes decay into figurative forms, slowly worn by the flux and flow of the tide.

Working with finely rolled slabs of stoneware clay, vessels are assembled and manipulated into fluid, organic lines. Clay becomes canvas, and found objects sometimes leave their trace. These pieces speak of the passing of time, of lived experience, epochs, fragility, and ever shifting contours.

The leather hard vessel is hand painted with layers of under glaze or porcelain slip. After the first firing, multiple glazes, sometimes with oxide and stain, are applied with a brush, made complete with a dribbled white crackle glaze that evokes the weathered landscape and chalky flint.