Our Images and Shoots
Our curator and photographer achieves beautiful images through careful decision-making: natural lighting rather than artificial, props and a combination of materials. Josephine shoots the artworks either in the Gallery or at the house of Maud and Mabel’s founder, Karen Whiteley. Taking images in two locations - the gallery and Karen’s home -shows how the ceramics, wood and art are displayed and function differently in varying spaces and environments. When shooting at the gallery, Josephine cleverly crafts backdrops from pieces of material such as linen and cloth. Light is hugely important to the quality of the images and so she favours shooting in the morning, so that as the gallery lights up, the images do too.
At Maud and Mabel we work with Blacksmith Matthew Potts to create metal plinths that can display the artworks in the best way, working in harmony with all of the artworks, no matter their texture or tone. Matthew works from Beltane Forge in the Cotswolds, where he handcrafts plinths for us that can be either smooth and aged, which adds interest to the quality of the images. He also creates shelving with different levels and shapes which allows each work its individual space, whilst giving prominence to certain pieces.
The House of Grey is an interior design company with an evidence-based approach. Founded by Louisa Grey, the studio’s decisions are informed by natural materials. Images on the studio’s website, taken by a huge range of successful and inspiring photographers, express how sustainable design can impact well-being. Through carefully considered images, calm and enticing atmospheres are created.
Maud and Mabel have worked with UK based photographer Rory Gardiner, who now regularly collaborates with The House of Grey on a couple of shoots and he brought to life pieces by UK ceramicists Akiko Hirai, Anna Silverton, and ceramicists from across Europe, such as Linda Ouhbi and Enriqueta Cepeda. In his images the extraordinary precision of Sophie Cook’s porcelain bottles and vases creates a wonderful contrast with the interestingly textured and aged surroundings, and result in striking images which highlight the simple and pure form of the vessels.
Rustic elements of wooden beams, ladders and floorboards, and distressed walls compliment the ceramics and echo the natural references expressed through their forms. Flowers, leaves and branches add wonderful bursts of colour to the muted and restrained tones of the ceramics. It is clear to see the importance of natural light in Rory’s photographs for Maud and Mabel, as they feature windows, fully, partially or suggested through intriguing shadows. This results in the serenity that exudes from each image.
Rich Stapleton is a photographer and the co-founder of Cereal Magazine. Cereal explores design, art and travel through beautiful, calm and elegant images. Much of Rich’s subject matter is made up of his travel discoveries as he spends a considerable amount of time travelling. At Maud and Mabel we are equally inspired by travel and the ways that seeing new things in cultures, art and architecture different to those we are familiar with, can change your outlook on life and the world.
Rich works with both digital and film, and takes inspiration from minimalist architectural designer John Pawson, American abstract painter Agnes Martin and modernist architect Mies van der Rohe. Rich has said that ‘digital photography allows you to capture exactly what you see, film can convey something more undefined; an essence, a mood or a feeling.’ Rich favours depicting modern and classic forms together, deeming the pairing surprisingly timeless and compatible.
Rich’s visit to Naoshima Island in Japan was a huge inspiration to his work. It was also very influential to Karen’s thinking and ideals, and what she dreamt of expressing at Maud and Mabel. In our recent blog we delve deeper into Naoshima Island and how the curators control the space to create a meaningful and lasting visitor experience.