Lydia Hardwick’s art objects.

Lydia Hardwick pink yellow

With black and white striped patterns and polka dots alongside salmon pink hues, Lydia Hardwick creates irresistible art pieces out of porcelain. Hardwick’s abstract ceramic pieces can easily be described as “art objects.” As a recent graduate of ceramic art from the Royal College of London, Hardwick has a solo show in November and is already making a name for herself within the art world. We spoke to Hardwick about her techniques of working with porcelain, as well as her inspirations.

(Check out our full interview below…)

Lydia Hardwick studio

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WORKED WITH CERAMICS OR DID YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT ARTISTIC BACKGROUND STARTING OUT?

The Sculpture department at Camberwell College of Arts was based in the roof of the building. This is where I started my undergraduate degree. I was given the opportunity at the beginning of my second year to spend a month in another area of the college. I visited the Ceramics department in the basement, and I never returned to the roof.

YOUR ARTWORKS ARE ABSTRACT PIECES THAT HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS “ART OBJECTS.” WHAT DOES THIS TERM MEAN TO YOU? 

I have always struggled with the idea of categorizing things. I think that is why I make what I make: because I like to indulge in something not having to be one thing or another. So to me, an art object can be anything!

Lydia Hardwick Black

YOUR ARTWORK HAS A PLAYFUL AND LIGHT QUALITY TO IT, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE SOME OF THE THEMES YOU PURSUE IN YOUR ARTWORK? 

In-betweeness, balance, layers, edges.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PALETTE AND AESTHETIC? 

Puttyness and patternish.

Lydia Hardwick shelf

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE, AND HOW LONG DOES IT TYPICALLY TAKE TO DESIGN A PIECE? 

When I work directly with clay, I work very quickly indeed. I am very impatient with it. When I work with other materials, I tend to take longer. For example, I am currently working towards a solo show on the Isle of Mull, for which I am making some large rug-like wall hangings. Each takes me about 150 hours to complete.

HOW IS THE PROCESS OF WORKING WITH PORCELAIN? DO YOU FIND IT NARROWS THE CONCEPTS YOU CAN CREATE? 

I think that restrictions are good. They make me try harder. Porcelain is a very stubborn lady, but she loves to show off. When fired, it becomes a super bright white. Also, it is great for mixing colouring stains and oxides into.

Lydia hardwick green

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WORK THAT YOU HAVE CREATED? 

I change my mind all the time about things, which is why I should never get a tattoo. One very important piece that I made was whilst I was studying at the Royal College of Art. It was two large rock-like forms with loosely patterned surfaces. Much of my practice has fed off the things I learnt through making that piece.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS WHO MAY HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR STYLE AS AN ARTIST? 

I am a big fan of work by the painters Peter Doig and Luc Tuymans. My work might not look anything like theirs, but I have been influenced by the way that they shift and layer material.

Lydia Hardwick installation

NAME THREE THINGS THAT CONSISTENTLY INSPIRE YOU? 

The work of the Gee’s Bend Quilters, examples of Inca feather work, long walks.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE ART BLOGS?

For a long time I have followed the blog of artist Michael Swaney.

NAME SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE SEEN? HEARD? KNOWN?
In a small village named Bubion in the La Alpujarra region of Spain, there is a tiny restaurant called Estacion 4. There, you can get a very good meal.

Lydia Hardwick pink

x Find out more about Lydia and her artwork here x

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