1. 130412.jpg 1/3
  2. 130412_a.jpg 2/3
  3. 130412_f.jpg 3/3


Harrow, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom born 1948

Pores 2003 Place made: London, Greater London, England
Materials & Technique: ceramics, earthenware, glazed high-fired earthenware

Primary Insc: 'Alison Britton 2003' incised into base
Dimensions: 60.0 h x 34.0 w x 25.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2003
Accession No: NGA 2004.283
  • Pores is a complex expression of Alison Britton’s investigations into the vessel form. It is ambiguous in its reference to function, and exhibits the asymmetry of volume and painterly surface abstraction that characterises her ceramics. Her interest in the tension between contained and delineated form is seen in this work, where an inwardly turned lip draws the eye to the vessel’s unreachable interior. An artery-like spout offers a weak promise of delivery of the vessel’s imagined contents, but it serves only as a vestige of function. Deep cuts in the vessel wall and a smattering of perforations further destabilise its visual functionality, while a hazy, disconnected surface pattern hints at a larger narrative beyond this fragment. Britton draws together such apparent flaws of function into a work that should reflect nervous intensity, but instead sits calmly resolved through its impracticalities.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra