Ceramic artworks created by Risedale School’s Head of Art, Ms Westwood, are now on display as part of a national exhibition curated by contemporary artist, writer and broadcaster Grayson Perry.
Grayson's Art Club: The Exhibition runs from Fri 2 Dec 2022 – Sun 23 Apr 2023 at MAC (Midlands Art Centre) featuring selected works by artists, members of the general public, comedians and popular figures from the third series of Grayson Perry’s Art Club.
Ms Westwood produced an impressive collection of 100 ceramic bonbon dishes that were selected for the Art Club television programme which aired in April 2022 on Channel 4.
Ms Westwood was interviewed by Grayson online from her classroom at Risedale where she explained what inspired her to create the bonbon dishes and some of the stories behind them: Ms Westwood on Grayson's Art Club
Each bonbon dish is individually hand-made and decorated with text and images depicting a different memory or reflection on life in the moment of making exploring the theme ‘Inside My Head’.
Ms Westwood said,
“It was incredibly exciting to be part of a Channel 4 event with familiar TV faces as fellow guests – but when the gallery opened, it was seeing my own work feature so prominently in this high-profile exhibition, that led me to feel overcome with emotion and recognised as an artist! All of the exhibited work looked superb. It was such a joy to finally meet the other artists in person after only seeing them on TV and share this surreal experience. I have admired Grayson Perry for most of my professional life so it was a real privilege to be able to speak with him in person and get him to pose for the obligatory selfie of course!”
Risedale’s Deputy Headteacher, Sarah Matthewman said,
“We are incredibly proud of Ms Westwood! We first saw her brilliant work in the spring on Grayson’s Art Club. It is really important for our pupils to see what doors can be opened by trying something new and knowing that their teachers are creative and inspirational people, not only in the classroom but in the wider world too.”
Ms Westwood has been Head of Art at Risedale School in Catterick Garrison for 9 years after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Sunderland, followed by a PGCE in Art and Design at Northumbria University. Throughout her teaching career, Ms Westwood has continued to work as a practising artist and recently her work has predominantly focussed on contemporary ceramic sculpture and studio ceramics. She is an active member of The Northern Potters Association and is also the resident artist for EPICH (Eco People In Croft and Hurworth)) producing artwork and installations within the parish with a focus on improving green spaces.
You can find out more about Ms Westwood’s work by following her on Instagram @jam.westwood or by visiting www.jamwestwood.com
Grayson Perry (born 1960) is an English contemporary artist, writer and broadcaster. He is known for his ceramic vases, tapestries, and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles". [TATE biography of the artist]