Ceramics I Jack Durling
Tender yet powerful sculptures of exploited species marry ceramic art with a strong conservationist message
Sculptor Jack Durling creates powerful work lamenting the devastating impact of human behaviour on endangered and exploited wildlife.
An artist with a strong conservationist heart, his ‘Bleeding for Gold’ collection celebrates the beauty of species such as the rhino and sloth bear.
Lovingly sculpted from black clay, oxides, glazes and lustres, the hollow form ceramic animals take on an almost human quality – highlighting their vulnerability, playfulness and connection to our own behaviours.
We are delighted to be showing Jack’s work in the gallery this November alongside Morgan Doyle’s ‘Escapada’ exhibition of original prints. Both artists share a ‘layered’ style, with the rawness of the ceramic body in Jack’s pieces lent a contrasting quality by the gold lustre.
“I hope the work carries an underlying message, while celebrating the beauty of the species,” he says. “It’s about expressing the delicateness of our planet and all its inhabitants.”
It is a collection he first developed when he moved into his Brighton studio in 2016, and which is borne from a childhood fascination with conservation and wildlife.
Jack adds: “I used to visit Port Lympne zoo at a young age, and grew up questioning zoos’ place in conservation. I now feel they are undoubtedly important, not least due to the ferocious appetite for ‘commodities’ such as rhino horn. It’s truly horrific what happens to them.
“And seeing the calves’ playful nature, just like a child, and having their mothers which they depend upon to survive so brutally killed for something that has no basis in scientific evidence is really heartbreaking.”
In areas of Asia, the sloth bear, meanwhile, is milked through open wounds for the bile found in their stomachs.
“Significant loss and damage is continually being made upon species such as these, pushing many to the brink of extinction. We can’t shy away from these problems and pretend that they aren’t there.”
See Jack’s work alongside Morgan Doyle’s ‘Escapada’ from November 2-24, at For Arts Sake, 45 Bond Street, Ealing, W5 5AS. For more on Jack see jackdurling.co.uk, or email [email protected] for details of specific pieces on show.