Jacqueline Poncelet’s work is characterised by a restless exploration of materials and making that is evident throughout her practice. As an artist she is fascinated by how tastes and fashions play out in the ways that humans dress, decorate living spaces, shape architecture and build infrastructures. Working across diverse media, Poncelet gathers and transforms patterns found in our cityscapes and rural landscapes.
Having trained in ceramics and working with clay for over ten years, Poncelet moved into making sculpture, painting and textiles before turning her attention to public commissions. Poncelet now works across a range of scales and media and this exhibition presents a rare opportunity to experience the breadth of her work. It includes tiny, delicate ceramics made in the 1970s, large, brightly coloured paintings and textiles from the 1990s, as well as watercolours and wallpapers made specifically for this exhibition.
Taking a thematic rather than chronological approach, In the Making presents works from different eras side by side, offering experiences of the artist’s enquiry and rigorous exploration of process across diverse bodies of work. The exhibition – Poncelet’s largest and most ambitious to date – is accompanied by a special collection display curated by the artist. This draws from a singular collection of the works associated with the New Jewellery Movement, which was pioneered by artist-makers working between the late 1970s to early 1990s across several European countries and took an innovative approach to materials and making processes to create wearable artworks. Poncelet’s ceramic work has been part of the Middlesbrough Collection at MIMA since the early 1980s and many pieces by her peers in British ceramics can be seen in the collection displays across the gallery.
The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of family activities, engagement programmes and a public programme of tours, talks and social events.
Jacqueline Poncelet (b. 1947) was born in Belgium and moved to England as a young child. She studied ceramics at Wolverhampton College of Art from 1965 – 69 and the Royal College of Art, London from 1969 – 72. In 1978 – 79 she was awarded a British Council fellowship to undertake a year of working in the US, which had a profound impact on her work.
Poncelet has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Camden Art Centre, London; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Arnolfini, Bristol; Swansea Museum and Art Gallery; and New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire. Her work is in significant international collections including Tate Modern, British Council, Crafts Council and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Art Institute of Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam.
Renowned for creating artworks in the public realm, Poncelet has developed commissions for buildings including schools and hospitals. Her best known public work, Wrapper (2012), is sited at London’s Edgware Road tube station. She lives and works in London and South Wales.