SMILE – ‘I’m happy, hope you’re happy too’

Two weeks ago 50+ manic smiling Jelly Babies were striding around this vase Emoji like. It was the last pot I made before the plane took off with everything stowed away on board.

SMILE sold last weekend at my open house exhibition, cheers all round.  It was only just out of the kiln and I had had hardly had time to gaze at it myself. These big pots take so long to make and SMILE took me about 120 hours. Spending a long time on a piece working so close makes it impossible to see the big picture; I rely on my original vision and idea and hope it all works in the end.
The painting process is carried out with what the overall finished pot in my mind. Of course there are design problems to tackle in the process; fitting in the jelly babies around the circumference was a nightmare at times. Working close up its never possible to see the overall pot, that moment comes as I take it from the kiln, then l can spend a little time watching it out of the corner of my eye, trying to catch it when I’m not expecting it.

There are two points of reference in this piece firstly Adam Curtis and his film Hyper-Normalisation this is the antidote to the post-truth world of today. I hoped this pot would become a kind of spiritual power station that could transfer happiness at a glance or a gentle touch.

Everybody keep smiling!

And the lyrics of David Bowie

Ashes to Ashes

Do you remember a guy that’s been
In such an early song?
I’ve heard a rumor from Ground Control
Oh no, don’t say it’s true

They got a message from the Action Man
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too
I’ve loved all I’ve needed, love
Sordid details following”

The shrieking of nothing is killing, just
Pictures of Jap girls in synthesis and I
Ain’t got no money and I ain’t got no hair
But I’m hoping to kick but the planet it’s glowing

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom’s a junkie
Strung out in heaven’s high
Hitting an all-time low

Time and again I tell myself
I’ll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
I’m stuck with a valuable friend
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too”
One flash of light but no smoking pistol

I never done good things (I never done good things)
I never done bad things (I never done bad things)
I never did anything out of the blue, woh-o-oh
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom’s a junkie
Strung out in heaven’s high
Hitting an all-time low

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom

My mother said, to get things done
You’d better not mess with Major Tom