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17 June 2004 1409 BST
Rupert Spira at the Sainsbury Centre
Tuesday 29 June until Sunday 25 July 2004
Pic: Deep bowl by Rupert Spira.
Deep bowl, lines incised through black pigment over white glaze, by Rupert Spira
An exhibition of Rupert Spira's ceramics opens at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, showcasing some of his new work for the first time in the UK.

Norwich School of Art and Design

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Admission £2, Conc. £1

Telephone: 01603 593199


Tuesday 29 June 2004, leading studio potters Rupert Spira and Edmund de Waal will be at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts to discuss their work.

Time: 6pm - 8pm.

Price: £6 Concessions: £4

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Rupert Spira is one of Britain's most acclaimed studio potters and this exhibition has travelled to the Sainsbury Centre from an exhibition tour of Japan.

The pots on display comprise bowls, cylinder vessels and large jars. Spira combines ceramic vessels with poetic texts - it is a collection of work in which his austere pots are embossed with text or poetry, or otherwise etched with intricately fine lines that create a surface dialogue through language and texture.

Trails of text and pattern drift across the pots, seemingly endless, luring us closer, inviting us to inspect the nature of these beautiful, ethereal ceramic forms.

Pic: Deep bowl by Rupert Spira.
Deep bowl, embossed poem under white glaze by Rupert Spira

Rupert Spira said: "I first visited the Sainsbury Centre as a student in the early 1980's to look at the work of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, as well as the extensive and inspiring collection of so-called Primitive Art.

"It never occurred to me then that my work would become part of that collection.

"So what started as a source of inspiration has also developed into a source of support and encouragement, and I am deeply grateful to Lisa and the late Sir Robert Sainsbury as well as many of the members of staff, for all that they have enabled on both fronts," said Spira.

Amanda Geitner, Head of Collections and Exhibitions said: "Ceramic work in the Sainsbury Collection spans 5,000 years of creative production - from the Jomon 'cord-marked' pots of ancient Japan to the modernist studio pottery of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper.

"A body of early work by Spira is already in the collection. This exhibition of very beautiful new work extends our understanding of the possibilities of the vessel form," added Geitner.

There will also be a launch of a new Rupert Spira book at the opening of the exhibition. It will incorporate images of all the works seen in the exhibition including many colour images of Spira's early work, as well as an essay by Emmanuel Cooper.

The Rupert Spira exhibition will run in the Special Exhibition Gallery at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts from Tuesday 29 June until Sunday 25 July 2004.

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