Guy Marshall-Brown

Guy Marshall-Brown

“I am an obsessive collector of academic texts”


Tell us about your background, where did you grow up and where did you study art?

Originally, I am from The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire but have lived and worked in London since beginning my BA Fine Art at The CASS. It was at the CASS that I discovered the ceramic medium and it quickly became a prominent facet of my practice. This led me to study MA Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. 

How has your practice change over time?

I guess that my practice has narrowed fairly considerably, becoming more and more focused on ceramics and writing. 

I am from a fairly artistically uninspiring background and so my only experience of art while growing up was limited knowledge of painting and neoclassical sculpture. I then went to Hereford College of Arts and, under the incredible tutorage of talented Animator Mark Woods, had my eyes opened to myriad disciplines available and instantly wanted to experiment with all of them. 

I imagine that's where my interests in material hierarchies were founded and since then I have just honed in the number of things that I am trying squeeze in my toolbelt. 

What is your artwork about? Tell us about your subject matter.

I am fascinated by material hierarchies; the development of them and how they have fluctuated since the Renaissance. Thus, my practice is rooted in an exploration of materiality and the metaphoric significances that are conveyed through a medium. This manifests itself, most commonly, in my practice through the use of ceramic. However, I also regularly use photography, painting and digital tools as visual research to support my ceramic work.

This research builds up to become an eclectic visual library that gets continually harvested back into my physical practice. I enjoy producing ceramic objects that challenge other artistic disciplines. A ceramic piece might be an iteration of a drawing or photography, or the ceramic might even be the fourth of fifth translation through different media.  

My current body of work has been the production of large scale ceramic objects that are evocative of classical architectural features; columns, capitals, and cornicing. I have been pushing my technical understanding of ceramic practice in order to introduce orchestrated faults into my forms which then, when fired in the kiln, begin to warp, tear and ooze glaze, challenging the notions of architecture as being a static constant form of art and cultural representation within our lives.

Tell us about your studio and your routine?

My studio routine is fairly simple at the moment. I spend almost every day in the studio, all day; not exactly early mornings but definitely late nights. When I am in the studio I am not always working, but I don't think that's essential. 

I am currently nearing the end of my MA at the Royal College now and so for a little while I have had the luxury of an extremely well equipped and lively studio, but I have also experienced the opposite. For a few years, I rented a fairly well sized but unbelievably cold studio that didn't have any heating or running water. I enjoyed working by myself and having the freedom to down tools and finish things the next day with no need to consider who else may need to use the space or equipment, however, the experience of working alongside some very close friends at the Royal College has convinced me that conversation is fuel for productivity. 

Can you tell us about your approach to a new project? How do you find a starting point?

My work almost always finds its origins in some form of text. I am an obsessive collector of academic texts that range from anthropological studies to scientific investigations; focusing primarily on philosophy, history and of course art theory. I also enjoy writing and wish that I had more time to dedicate to doing so. 

Do you have any news, projects or shows coming up?

I am currently working towards finalising my degree show work for the upcoming Royal College of Art Show 2019, open from 29th June until 7th July. The exhibition will feature work from artists and designers across almost all of the MA programmes that the RCA offers. I will be exhibiting alongside 17 of my fellow graduating course mates from the Ceramics and glass department.

Evi Pangestu

Evi Pangestu

Kerry O'Connor

Kerry O'Connor