William Martin, OBJECT / IMAGE, ceramics, prints and drawings by William Martin
Velorose, 30 June 2017 – 12 August 2017

William Martin, OBJECTS @ HOME, ceramics by William Martin
next door to Velorose, 6 July 2017 – 8 July 2017
By appointment: gallery@velorose.com

William Martin, ARCH, installation by William Martin
The Florence Trust, Highbury, 26 July 2017 - 28 July 2017
By appointment: hello@williamandco.uk

From 30 June to 11 August 2017 at Velorose, in OBJECT / IMAGE William Martin asks us to consider the interface between objects and representation. His recent work addresses a dependent life in a frank, honest and unexpectedly playful way; whether the subject is men, the artist's mother, or self-medication (and more), William’s work touches. A number of pieces will be free to turn, to touch, and to wear. All work will be for sale, with an introductory text we are honoured to have written by Katherine Finerty

Two other shows run in conjunction with OBJECT / IMAGE (our second show of this summer):

OBJECTS @ HOME: Experience William’s work “at home" in an apartment upstairs designed by Velorose overlooking Charterhouse Square, and now lived in with style

ARCH: 2 porcelain chains of more than 8 metres in length hanging from the base of the arches beneath the roof crossing form catenary arches in this Grade I listed neo-gothic church-turned-arts centre, and references William’s Frame (2016), a work that invited viewers to become participants in its exploration of masculinity and fragility

William shares a studio space in Peckham with Feix & Merlin Architects, and likewise his work at Velorose will occupy the half of 1B Charterhouse Square that forms our gallery. As in Peckham, William has observed the way that architects work, and the results can be seen in OBJECT / IMAGE. William’s explorations of how graphical representations of space convey objective realities has led him to reverse the process at Velorose; this is experienced in objects of contrasting form, size, finish and texture. Smaller objects fill cabinets of curiosity, while neoclassical pots of quiet grandeur sit imposingly in the open space. The backdrop of poplar plywood harmonises with the natural tones of the ceramics and fabrics, and contrasts with the glazes and colours that William employs

Many of William Martin’s familiar tropes are impressed on these objects of desire and dependence, providing a disarming insight into the artists’s mind: Pokémon gaily grace electric celadon plant pots with a charming levity, while a stoneware harness insists on a lascivious, startling contrast; flowers meet fetish. Curious Porcelain Apothecary Jars engraved with the molecular representations of alcohol, cocaine and valium (Friday Night (2017)) contrast with another kind of addiction: the images of past and present lovers on flat discs. In each of these items may be found an enquiry into the object itself, and the idea and image that it represents. By way of example, Untitled (2017), two almost-black glazed pots exemplifying a master-slave dynamic is at once a disarmingly attractive ensemble of glossy stoneware with an unglazed chain, while its design and physical arrangement induce us to read an interdependent relationship of uncertain balance

There’s the rub - and the nub of OBJECT / IMAGE: the unrestricted continuum on which both objects and images exist, and the play between dependence and independence, the masculine and the fragile





William Martin, Dependence, Glazed and Unglazed Stoneware, 53cm x 25cm (ø) and 62cm x 28cm (ø), 2017





William Martin, Cocaine, Zopiclone, Xanax, from the ‘Self-Medication’ Series, Porcelain Glazed Inside, 24cm x 16cm (ø), 2017





William Martin, Chains (Cream, Charcoal, Cobalt Speckle), Unglazed Porcelain, Unglazed Stoneware, Unglazed Stoneware with Cobalt, 47cm, 2017





William Martin, Wear, Pelican (in its Piety), Tear, Porcelain with Glazed Interior, 45cm x 18cm (ø), 2017





William Martin, Memento Matrem (Midfoot, Pelican, Venus), Unglazed Porcelain, 12cm x 9cm (ø), 12cm x 10cm (ø), 11.5cm x 8cm (ø), 2017





William Martin, Bikun Bag, Fabric and Spray Paint, 74cm x 47cm, 2017


William Martin’s work explores themes of absence, masculinity, and colonial history. He draws inspiration from personal experience and global history (particularly that of trade between East and West). As with Yinka Shonibare, individual and collective identity, power and privilege are enshrined in material, form and pattern

A skilled potter, Martin has exhibited in Africa, and his 2010 ‘Swallow my Pride’ show - addressing the commercialisation of gay culture - attracted academic interest from both Duke University and the Goethe Institut

William was apprenticed to master potter John Bauer while studying Social Science, Anthropology, Art History and English, then studied at Christie’s Education. He has served as a studio technician and teacher at Turning Earth Ceramics, been resident at the Kiln Rooms in Peckham Rye, and held a residency at the Florence Trust (2014 - 2015)





William Martin, Chain (Cream), unglazed porcelain, 100cm (2016)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Growler (detail), unglazed porcelain, acid-etched glass, silver gelatin print, 26cm x 30cm x 5cm (overall size) (2015)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Portrait of the Artist with Chain (2015)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Delft Blue Commemorative Objects, cobalt on stoneware, each approx. 12cm x 9cm dia. (2014)
Photography: Fabio Lattanzi Antinori





William Martin, Study (Cream), glazed stoneware, 26cm x 110cm x 5cm (overall size) (2015)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Taxonomy Installation (Florence Trust), mixed media, approx. 250cm x 500cm x 500cm (2015)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Untitled (Mask), unfired porcelain, 30cm x 24cm x 12cm (2016)
Photography: Chris Parkes





William Martin, Chain (Charcoal), unglazed stoneware, 100cm (2016)
Photography: Chris Parkes


Wiliam Martin is also exhibiting in:

'Corrupted Blood’
curated by Dave Charlesworth
South Kiosk, Peckham
7 July - 29 July

and after our hot pot summer:
'Living Clay’ (Cold Hopes Swarm like Worms)
curated by Kate Neave and alongside work by Abigail Schama
Dissenters’ Gallery, Kensal Green
28 October - 1 November!