I’m a big fan of Hitomi Hosono, the ceramicist whose modern take on a Jomon pot has been acquired by the British Museum and is currently on display in their Japanese Gallery. So I was excited to hear she had been selected as one of the artists in this year’s Jerwood Makers Open, which recognises rising stars in the world of applied arts and supports them with open commissions. The result of this in Hosono’s case is seven beautiful porcelain pots in shades of yellow, emerald green and coral.
Hosono’s training and experience mean she is well placed to merge Japanese and European traditions. She studied Kutani Pottery in Kanazawa city in Japan, ceramic product design at the Danmarks Designskole in Copenhagen, Denmark and finished off with an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London.
Her work is inspired by leaves and flowers. ‘I study botanical forms in the garden,’ she says. ‘I find myself drawn to the intricacy of plants, examining the veins of a leaf, how its edges are shaped, the layering of a flower’s petals. I look, I touch, I draw.’ An admirably simple and successful approach.
It’s the intricacy of Hosono’s depiction of organic forms that makes her porcelain so engaging. The simple shape of the pots enables you to focus on the depth and complexity of the surface.
And enables the interior of this pot to explode into life as a nest of medieval-looking leaves.
The pots on display at the Jerwood are inspired by the vibrancy of the South Pacific and for the first time Hosono is experimenting with the use of colour. It works spectacularly well.
I especially loved the contrast of the vibrantly detailed exterior with the smooth gold interiors of some of her pots.
If you want to buy her work, she’s represented by Adrian Sassoon – though the prices may make you gulp. Still, we can dream, can’t we?
The exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery on Union St (behind the Tate Modern) continues until 31st August. The Gallery is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 3 pm. It’s also showing the work of other Jerwood Open recipients Matthew Raw, Revital Cohen, Tuur Van Balen, Shelley James and FleaFollyArchitects.