Philip Eglin

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York Art Gallery has invited artist Philip Eglin to produce a new body of ceramic work in response to its collections. Eglin was first drawn to objects in museum collections in the 1990s and their influence has remained an important part of his working practice since.

For this commission, he is studying our collections of Old Master paintings, portraits and religious works. He is also looking at our important collection of alabasters and a small collection of Roman ceramic figures, examples of English medieval pottery, tin-glazed delftware and printed ceramics produced by Yorkshire potteries. Accessing such a range of material offers an extraordinary variety of narratives and will result in a body of work uniquely tied to York Museums Trust.

Drawing is important to his practice. When his sons were young he encouraged them to draw from objects and paintings, becoming fascinated by the naïve and no-nonsense way in which they constructed their drawings. His own drawings began to emulate this way of describing form. Eglin will be working with local primary and secondary school children to produce drawings he will use as source material for his commission.

Eglin is one of the UK’s most talented and important artists. A highly skilled ceramist, he has developed unique and innovative methods of working from mould making and modelling. His work can often be controversial but the thought behind it is always highly considered, combining historical and contemporary sources of inspiration seamlessly. 

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Philip Eglin’s ceramics reflect and comment on contemporary culture. He explores juxtapositions of imagery related to football, religion and sex. Eglin works on a range of sizes making small functional vessels at one end and large-scale figurative, sculptural works at the other. Eglin studied at Staffordshire Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He exhibits internationally and was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts in 1996. Eglin’s work is held in numerous public collections.