Online Artist TAKEOVER: MMXXBy The Black Box
We are MMXX, a collaboration between Francesca Vendramin (ceramicist, @fvceramics) & 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.
We started working together in 2020 to produce a series of ceramic pieces when we were both living in London.
Our work is inspired by a shared appreciation of Brutalist Architecture especially that of the Ulster Museum in Belfast and the Barbican Centre in London. The shapes we create are influenced by the aspects and details of these two buildings.
We carve, texture, emboss and assemble the clay to reflect the structure and material qualities present in brutalism.
Our ceramics were developed and made in 2020-21 at the studio run by Francesca in South West London.
We start by making cardboard templates & maquettes for the shapes to see how they relate and interact with each other. We refer to our glaze test tiles to decide how and where these should be applied to the pieces, making notes of these on our cardboard templates.
We then construct the standing sculptures and wall-mounted tiles using sheets of red or pink grogged clay. The surfaces are 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
Our first exhibition was with @willandyates in Deal, Kent in November 2020 which showed both our individual works as @heraldblack and @fvceramics alongside our collaborative pieces as MMXX
During 2021 our work was shown in group exhibitions with @throwncontemporary, @hepworthwakefield and @l_d_f_official as well as being selected by @mahgallery_london and @ameliemaisondart in Paris.
You can find our work online from our website and with two galleries: @mahgallery_london and @ameliemaisondart in Paris.
2022 was a year of change for us as we both moved out of London, Francesca to Milan, Italy, and Stephen to Walmer on the Kent coast. We are looking forward to getting back to working together again in the autumn once our studios are set up and are also exploring residency opportunities for 2023.
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