Ceramic tiles

When I went to Birmingham to ask Stephen Burke to review my work, he suggested having Ian’s letters fired on to tiles to combine the content of the letters with Ian’s tiling courses in which he gained distinctions.

I searched for companies which make transfers for ceramics and sent them 5 pages of Ian’s letters and received superbly made transfers.

My daughter, Carmen Burridge, is a ceramist so I asked her if she could glaze and fire the tiles, which she did, brilliantly.

At this point, I had thought of mounting them on other tiles which had fault lines, to combine my ‘Fault Lines’ project with my main one, and came up with this arrangement which would stand alone in the exhibition:

The letters on tiles, mounted on 3 bigger tiles. Anna Goodchild 2019

On discussing this with my tutor and other reviewers, I took the majority advice not to display them on the other tiles because it risked confusing the narrative.

My maquette of the gallery made me realise that I could hang the tiles between the diptychs. When I was physically in the space, I realised I could rest the tiles on the grey trunking and keep them in place with magnets which was a far sturdier and simpler arrangement.

The tiles resting on the trunking, held in place by magnets. Anna Goodchild 2019
The trunking was just at the right height for people to read the letters. Anna Goodchild 2019

When people saw the tiles, they did not realise that they were ceramic – many thought that they were copied on board so they started looking at the sides to make sure!

The tiles were one physical element which brought together the contents of the letters and the images, the outside and the inside. the other was the book which was on a lectern in a corner of the exhibition. The ceramic aspect also resonated with and brought together the stone element of the architecture of the exhibition space and the space in which Ian wrote his letters.