Tana West is the winner of Whitegold’s International Prize Feldspar Award and is currently working on her proposed ceramic artwork for display at the online Whitegold Festival in September 2020.
Tana’s work involves place specific and collaborative approaches: she has waded in mud with environmental historians to examine our relationship to water, and re-invigorated thinking about Somerset’s apple culture. In 2017 Tana created [UN]WOVEN, an artwork made with the help of a distributed online community sending clayey soil to her in a variety of ad hoc receptacles. Tana won Award at the British Ceramics Biennial for [UN]WOVEN and in 2019 she was selected for the Jerwood Makers Open for ‘Through a Glass Darkly’, a black ceramic version of a funfair hall of mirrors.
The Whitegold International Ceramic Prize offers Tana a chance to make work that draws on china clay country’s rich vein of interactions between the social and the geological.
Her proposal is inspired by wallpaper depicting the Bay of Naples that hung in the White Hart Hotel in St Austell when it opened in 1822 and was later donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the 1930’s by St Austell Brewery. This wallpaper by Dufour and Sons, was a positive reflection of the prosperity and global links of the early traders in china clay. Through experimentation with paperclay created using waste materials from china clay extraction and using local stories and imagery, Tana aims to construct a circular panorama with 15 panels depicting St Austell’s clay country.
“I’m interested in how local materials create a particular effect that is special to that place. For example, the original pink hue of the Financial Times newspaper came from the unbleached china clay from Bodelva Pit. Lots of English 19th century wallpapers used mica – a by-product of china clay extraction – to achieve a lustre effect.
The winning artists are currently working with Whitegold curator, Katie Bunnell to develop the fine detail of their proposals.
Find out more about Tana West at tanawest.co.uk
Winner of the Whitegold Prize 2019 Feldspar Award, Tana West opens the doors to her studio to Window into Whitegold for us to make this short film.
Tana has also prepared a 20 minute presentation about her work in progress for a new artwork for St Austell, released later in the day.
View Tana’s interview in the video above.
Tana West, winner of the Whitegold 2019 Feldpsar Prize presents work in progress in the creation of her 3m diameter panorama if St Austell clay country, made up of 15 ceramic panels.
Inspired by wallpaper depicting the Bay of Naples that hung in the White Hart Hotel in St Austell when it opened in 1822, Tana is interested in drawing on St Austell’s rich vein of interactions between the social and geological. In response to the challenges of Covid 19 and working from her studio in London, Tana has tapped into some of St Austell’s lively social media channels to gather stories and imagery for her panorama; and has received parcels of clay and waste materials collected by Whitegold curator, Katie Bunnell from clay country sites identified through the Brickfield project.
View the interview in the film below.