MMXX is a collaboration between Francesca Vendramin (ceramicist, FV/Ceramics Studio) & Stephen Dow (printmaker, heraldblack).
Francesca, from Italy, trained at Central Saint Martins (BA Hons) while Stephen is from Ireland and graduated from the Belfast School of Art.
Their work is influenced by a shared appreciation of Brutalist architecture which is reflected in their collaboration’s working name, MMXX, a reference to two artists making in the year 2020 and the practice of dating architecture with the year it is built.
Their ceramics were developed and made in 2020-21 at the studio run by Francesca in South West London. Using sheets of red clay, they constructed standing sculptures and wall mounted tiles. The clay is carved, textured and embossed to reflect structure and material qualities present in Brutalist architecture. The surface is treated with washes of metal oxides, painted with slips and a simple palette of tin and transparent glazes. All work is fired in an electric kiln at 1080°c
Originally trained as a ceramicist, Patrick Colhoun’s practice is now
multi-disciplinary with sculptures and installations combining
ceramic with unconventional materials such as hosiery,
neon, latex, and piercings.
The use of materials such as Meccano hark back to childhood and
lead pellets from shotgun cartridges keep the dark side of Colhoun’s
work alive. Both also strengthen the influence of memory that runs
throughout the artist’s work.
The unconventional approach reinforces an early decision by the
artist to move away from ceramics with a traditional craft approach to
a version of what the artist terms ‘Anti Ceramics’.
Recent work has focused on the notion that the making process has
become a thing that helps the artist function with everyday life and
that the idea of having a project ongoing is integral to the artist’s
wellbeing. The extension of this is the realization that people use
many different things to help them cope with everyday life.
The duality in the titles of many pieces allow the viewer
to make their own mind about the meaning, they can be
positive and reassuring or negative and oppressive.