Kate Malone, one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists, has created a collection of new work reflecting the gardens and collections at Waddesdon Manor, the great Rothschild house in Buckinghamshire.
The exhibition features pieces inspired by the landscape, gardens, architecture and the people that have been a part of Waddesdon over the years, including Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, the creator of Waddesdon and Alice, his sister and heir, who was a passionate horticulturalist as well a collector. Kate has also been particularly influenced by the wealth of decorative detail in the collections, including Waddesdon’s world-famous eighteenth century French Sèvres porcelain and the intricate passementerie (elaborate tassels, braids and fringing) that decorates many of the curtains and upholstery.
The exhibition forms part of the Contemporary at Waddesdon initiative, commissioning artists to respond to the place and its collections in innovative and inventive ways. Kate’s preparation included a research residency working with curators, archivists and gardeners to explore the collection, gardens and the archive at Waddesdon. A significant inspiration was the garden at Eythrope, nearby on the Waddesdon Estate, historically the home of Alice de Rothschild, and its recreated Victorian potager (kitchen garden). This is an exhibition that will appeal to anyone with a love of gardens, architecture and history and the ways in which places and people can influence artists. In addition to those interested in contemporary ceramics, the show is likely to have wider appeal due to Kate’s appearance as one of two expert judges on the BBC series The Great Pottery Throw Down.