A joint exhibition of lively ceramic sculpture and intricate abstract painting.

Carol McNicoll and Jacqueline Poncelet are contemporaries and friends and have been showing work together for almost a decade. This new joint display, featuring McNicoll’s animated ceramic sculptures and Poncelet’s intricately composed paintings, is a celebration of colour and pattern and demonstrates both artists’ differing, yet intuitive, connection with their surroundings.

Carol McNicoll’s work is conceived to exist in the internal domestic sphere, while also taking on external elements of the world through her detailed composite sculptures using inventive modeling and moulding techniques and found objects sourced from charity shops and flea markets. Humour abounds in McNicoll’s work, but her observations are never less than keen. She casts a wry, albeit entertaining, glance at our complicated society and encourages the viewer to engage with questions about identity and global issues. New works featuring women gazing at their mobile phones, oblivious to the world around them, and another showing businessmen joining hands, happily cavorting, exhibit McNicoll’s trademark vivacious wit.

Whether creating ‘Wrapper’ (the vitreous enamel cladding at Edgware Road station, also the largest of its kind in Europe), her homeware collaboration with Tate and Melin Tregwynt woolen mill, textural ceramics or patterned abstract paintings, Jacqueline Poncelet always responds poetically to her environment. This latest series of deeply personal paintings are inspired by the artist’s unique reaction to Bryn Ogwr, her home in the Welsh Valleys. Instead of trying to mimic the landscape in her work, she draws something very special out of it. Rhythmic pattern and colour are symbiotic elements in the graceful visual expression of her practice.

Text by Siobhan Feeney

Carol McNicoll (b. 1943) studied Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic (1967-1970), then Ceramics at the Royal College of Art (1970-1973). She is one of a group of female artists who transformed the British ceramics scene in the 1970s. Before this she worked as a machinist for the fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and designed and made stage costumes for Brian Eno and Andy McKay of Roxy Music. McNicoll has designed collections for Next Interiors and Axis Diffusion amongst others, lectured at various institutions and has exhibited widely, both in the UK and internationally. Public collections include the V&A, London, Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam, the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, and private collections worldwide. In 2001 she was short-listed for the Jerwood Prize for Ceramics and a major Crafts Council retrospective of her work toured the UK from 2003-2005.

Jacqueline Poncelet studied ceramics at Wolverhapton College of Art (1965-1969), then the Royal College of Art (1969-1972) and was a major figure on the international ceramics scene in the 1970s and 80s. In the early 1990s she diversified to include painting, sculpture and public art commissions in her practice. Poncelet has lectured at a number of institutions, including the Royal College of Art and the University of Brighton, and has exhibited her work internationally in numerous solo and group shows. In 2000 she was one of the three curators of the British Art Show and her work can be seen in many public collections, including that of the V&A, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, and National Museum of Victoria, Australia.