Jenny Southam

Jenny Southam studied Fine Art in Bristol where she developed her practice in Sculpture, gravitating towards bronze. After several years working as a sculptor and bronze-casting assistant in Gloucestershire she moved to Devon, where she embraced clay as her medium of choice. For thirty years her family, home, garden and studio has formed an integrated whole.

The ideas for her hand-built and hand-decorated figurative ceramic sculptures draw from the realms of European and English mythology, from domestic incidents and rituals, and more recently, from a rich seam of stories handed down through her ancestral Nordic forebears.

Her figures are often placed within a pew, a bower, a garden or an enclosure of trees. Many suggest moments when men, women and animals are frozen in a critical, dramatic juxtaposition.

Jenny predominantly uses a lightly grogged terracotta, which is sensitive enough to pick up the most subtle of modeled figurative expressions and nuances. Each ceramic piece is individually conceived and its exploration is unique. An important element of each sculpture is the slip decoration, which aims to enhance the emotional resonance of the work.

“When I enter the studio I am searching for that serene state of absolute absorption that making and drawing can gift us, which we all wish will, in some manner, enrich our audience.” – Jenny Southam