12 March – 1 May 2017
Material: Earth is a major new exhibition celebrating the use of clay in contemporary art opening March 12 at Messums Wiltshire.  Featuring work by Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, Edmund de Waal and other British artists; Material: Earth is the first in a series of three shows exploring the art of making and the use of natural materials in contemporary art.
This exhibition will explore how clay, that most elemental and ancient of materials is increasingly shaping a new aesthetic. It shows how artists have created new forms of art through a complex and fluent merging of past idioms, styles and format.  The exhibition aims to illustrate how since the 1970’s there has been a quiet but steady progression in the use of ceramics away from studio pottery towards the challenging and immersive arena of contemporary art.
Two rare early works by Grayson Perry made by the artist in 1984 entitled ‘Death to Grayson Perry’, featuring one of the earliest known self-portraits form one of the highlights of the show.
As the gallery seeks to make the diverse languages of the visual arts accessible and inclusive to the broadest possible range of audiences, the exhibition will be supported by a series of talks and workshops and an educational programme open to schools and young people, culminating in a symposium on the new Clay Movement and a Makers Festival to be held at the barn on the 29/30 April.
Artists include:

Felicity Aylieff, Sam Bakewell, Gordon Baldwin, Alison Britton, Christie Brown, Sandy Brown, Adam Buick, Stephanie Buttle, Hans Coper, Michael Eden, Philip Eglin, Elizabeth Fritsch, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Ewen Henderson, Rachel Kneebone, Gillian Lowndes, Geoffrey Mann, Alexander MacDonald- Buchanan, Grayson Perry, Lucie Rie, Richard Slee, Julian Stair, Kaori Tatebayashi, Annie Turner, Bouke de Vries, Edmund de Waal.

Warning: video contains explicit language

Curators                                           With grateful thanks to
Joanna Bird (consultant)                  James Birch
Catherine Milner                              The Crafts Council
Anna Pryer                                        Crafts Study Centre
                                                            Hales Gallery
                                                            Marsden Woo Gallery
                                                            Adrian Sassoon
                                                            Tim Sayer
Nao Mansunaga ‘Maybe or Maybe Not’.  Photo © Philip Sayer
Christie Brown ‘The Uncanny Playroom’.  Photo © Sussie Ahlberg
Sam Bakewell ‘A messenger, a smuggler, a weapon, a battle cry’.  Photo © Ian Skelton
Grayson Perry ‘Bullfighter’.  Photo credit: Stephanie Rennie
Geoffrey Mann ‘Crossfire’