Friday, May 29, 2009

Emma Biggs & Matthew Collings

A truly fascinating series of collaborations from English partners Biggs and Collings that pays homage to the past and tradition and yet clearly is very contemporary work in so many ways...with very layered references to all kinds of ideas, histories and ways of seeing the world.  


MAY   2009   FIVE SISTERS YORK ST MARYS,  YORK  UK  Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings are currently making an instillation for York Art Gallery's Project Space, York , St Mary's, a deconsecrated medieval church. The work includes paintings and a mosaic. You can watch a documentary film on this and read more about the artists by clicking shows after going to their website   . You might recall Colling's  Channel 4 TV series, This is Modern Art.

Scholar's house

Nine Rooms Scholars House   May 2005 painted by the  artists Biggs and Collings. This oil painting and the two below are executed jointly by Biggs and Collings. Biggs conceives the organisation of colours and Collings executes the paintings.  To read more about their paintings go to their website and click on What our work is about.



Will You Obey The Rules? Adam St Gallery  Feb 2004 painted by the artists Biggs and Collings


Round Table M.O.T.  Group Show 2003

Five sisters

Five Sisters -the York St Mary's show is made up of mosaic and paintings...the first time for such a combination by the artists. The mosaic is made from 13th and 14th century pottery shards from the collection belonging to the York Museum Trust called "Clay End" The paintings have the collective title Paintress...referring to a division of labour in the ceramic industry where men are the clay-workers and women the decorators.

Potters Union - click for more details

'Potters Union', 2008

Made in England
Below is the Made in England Mosaic from a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council. Conceived by Emma Biggs and carried out with participation by a number of individuals with varied skills and roles. It is both a "historical record and a demonstration of how signs and symbols influence our understanding of familiar objects and inform how we think today".

One roundel of the mosaic is made of backstamps from the 1860's to 1880's. Here a gift from an American collector is laid out on a kitchen table.

after 238 years of making pottery, Spode has gone into administration (NOV, 2008 news) Founded 1770 by Josiah Spode, Spode was the birthplace of fne bone china making its collapse a great cultural loss.

Plate found in a charity shop with unusual backstamp.

You might also wish to check out Matthew Collings' SAATCHI GALLERY BLOG : The following are images from a very significant body of work by Emma Biggs in Mosaic- Coomercial, Domestic, Public- which can all be viewed on the website. This is a fantastic site with working drawings and studio processes and it clearly demonstrates the extraordinary talent of this artist. I particularly love the working drawings and her gorgeous sense of colour.

my hotel

Mosaic for London Restaurant  of My Hotel, Bloomsbury 

new jersey

New Jersey kitchen 


SARTOR RESARTUS;  two glass mosaic murals and a marble avement, based on theme of suits and shoes- work wear for workers at Canary Wharf.

CHOOSING MATERIALS:  glass on left....  same design in marble on right


aaron graham
Drawing for mosaic: Aaron Graham 1

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