A Conversation with Claire Bevacqua

17 March 2013

In the first of a series of interviews with artists exhibiting at the RBSA Gallery, one of our Volunteer Gallery Assistants, Becky Peake-Sexton, interviews Claire Bevacqua, a London-based ceramicist exhibiting in Down our Street.

Could you tell me about your current work? Is this different from your past projects?

In 2011 my work transformed in to what you see today. There were some huge changes in my life and my work became more about playing, escaping and generally enjoying life.

What led you to make ceramics?

I had an amazing ceramics teacher at school. From the age of ten she encouraged me to experiment and I loved working with clay.


Where did you learn your skills?

I did my BA at Camberwell College of Art and then took on an apprenticeship with the well known British potter Kate Malone, she really helped me hone my skills. I then travelled through Italy and Sicily working with several artists and learning local techniques.

Your delicate sculptural ceramics are exquisite. Could you tell me more about the process involved in making each piece?

Each piece is lovingly handbuilt, no two are the same. I use several different techniques including slabbing, throwing, modelling and slip trailing. I collect figures and props that I then use to create playful narratives.


Do you have a clear idea of what each piece will look like before you start, or do you find that the finished product is largely different to your first design?

I generally have the key concept thought out but as I work sometimes I drift off in to my creative world and surprises appear. I enjoy adding lots of little extra details.

What or who are your biggest influences?

The list is endless! I think it is mainly being observant and open. I notice all the little things in day to day life. Even the apparently mundane can make me smile.


Are there particular themes that run through your work?

All my work seems to be fairly playful but generally they include a safe comforting place where my characters can relax and viewers can escape.

How did you decide to become an artist?

I knew from a very early age. It was all I ever wanted to do. I didn't so much decide as just follow a path.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Just be yourself and keep at it.

Where is your ideal space to work? Do you enjoy working alone or with other artists?

I work from my studio at the end of my garden which is perfect for me. I found that when I shared a studio I just ended up nattering and drinking coffee, so I get much more done on my own. With fewer distractions I can lose myself completely in another world!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I'd really like to collaborate with other artists on some larger scale public art pieces, I think that could be fun. In the meantime I will keep creating snapshots of my little worlds.