This handbuilt patchwork form rises from a narrow foot and expands into a terrain of textures, painterly stains and slips which run in horizontal bands. Craggy, crusted and cratered it appears as an artefact from deep time.  Henderson described clay as ‘fluxed earth’  and his sculptures capture the alchemical essence of the material. Henderson’s work is often compared to the natural world and there is an elemental beauty and energy to his practice. However, throughout his career Henderson fiercely rejected categorisation, he sought his work to be viewed as sculpture and for it not to be solely defined by its material.
Henderson initially trained as a painter, he studied ceramics as a mature student at Camberwell College of Art from 1965 to 1968, where his teachers included Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. His early work featured interpretations of traditional forms including tea-bowls. It was from the 1970s onwards that his work took on radical and larger sculptural forms (See 50744, 50745 and 50746). On seeing Henderson’s forms for the first time in 1977, ceramicist Henry Pim compared them to, ‘…meteorites recently arrived from another planet where no one had heard of traditional pottery techniques’.  Although Henderson maintained his independence from the conventions of studio ceramics, he was not alone in defying expectations and believed the work of Gordon Baldwin and Gillian Lowndes had a strong affinity with his own. 
Sim Panaser, August 2020
 Ewen Henderson’s work during the 1990s explored standing stones and Neolithic sites.
 David Whiting, ‘Obituary: Ewen Henderson’, The Guardian, 9 October 2000, <https://www.theguardian.com/news/2000/oct/09/guardianobituaries> [accessed 12/08/2020].
 Henry Pim, ‘Creative Games’, Ceramic Review, 98 (March/April, 1986), 14 – 16 (p. 14).
 Ewen Henderson curated and selected works for the 1995 Crafts Council sculptural clay exhibition, Pandora’s Box and the Tradition of Clay, which included works by Ruth Duckworth, Dan Arbeid and Angus Suttie. Henderson chose to display his work alongside that of Gillian Lowndes and Gordon Baldwin.
Berthoud, Roger and Christopher Reid, David Whiting, Ewen Henderson, (Yeovil: Marston House in association with Midlands Arts Centre, 1995)
Birks, Tony, ‘Ewen Henderson’, Revue de la Céramique et du Verre, 117 (March/April 2001), 34-37
de Waal, Edmund, ‘Ewen Henderson’, Crafts, (May/June 2001), 46-49
Pandora’s Box and the Tradition of Clay, (exhibition catalogue), (London: Crafts Council, 1995)
Pim, Henry, ‘Creative Games’, Ceramic Review, 98 (March/April 1986), 14 – 16
Not on display
Artist/Maker: Ewen Henderson
Measurements: h. 290mm
Accession Number: 50745
Historic Period: 20th century
Credit Line: Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government from Leslie Birks Hay and allocated to SCVA, 2016
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