Diane Eagles

Ceramic Art exhibition

Swedenborg House Bookshop, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | Summer 2017 (dates tbc) | Mon-Fri 9.30 am - 5.00 pm | Free entry

This summer will see our bookshop display a small exhibition of specially commissioned ceramic mottoware artwork by the artist Diane Eagles.

The pieces will recreate some of the items from the series of ceramic designs for Josiah Wedgwood etched by William Blake for the 1817 catalogue of queensware tableware (see left) and they will be adorned with quotations from Swedenborg's writings.

The designs originate from 1815, at a time when Blake’s financial and public fortunes were at a low ebb. It is likely that John Flaxman, one of the most significant artists employed by Wedgwood (and a founding member of the Swedenborg Society too), was the link for the improbable etching commission. The works are in stark contrast to the visionary imagery Blake is famous for, perhaps indicating his desperate circumstances at the time, and one of the brief letters to Wedgwood shows Blake signing himself ‘humble servant’.

Rather than the Wedgwood etchings being seen as a humiliating and servile act of a forgotten man, the ideas of domestic wares, of service to others, of the giving and taking in of actual and spiritual nourishment, will result in a fitting memorial to Blake, Swedenborg and Flaxman.   

Diane Eagles is a London-based ceramic artist and art psychotherapist. Her work is inspired by ritual, emotional and spiritual investment in objects, healing and power, and the historic resonance within places; ideas all closely related to her professional career. Diane, is a founding member of the ceramic artist’s collective, The Associated Clay Workers Union (ACWU).

To view examples of Diane's work, visit her website here.