Luminous and perfectly aligned, this complex work appears startlingly simple.
Ruth Duckworth was a prolific artist who moved from making predominantly domestic scale, organic vessel forms to vast architectural works in the second half of her life.
This late work has elements of both: it is a vessel form, finely drawn with an intimate sense of the material quality of porcelain, but it also features the bridging form that Duckworth used extensively in her architectural and sculptural work.
Duckworth was born in Germany and moved to Britain in 1936. She went to art school in Liverpool and earned a living making portraits and carving headstones before moving to London. There she decided to learn pottery and attended the Central School of Art, where she developed a highly individual approach, working both in porcelain and stoneware.
Her early pieces, deploying the biomorphic forms that characterised her work throughout her life, have a bone like quality, with joints and protrusions resembling fossilised spines.
Duckworth moved to America in 1964, where she started to work on large scale sculptures and wall pieces, as well as continuing with the smaller vessel forms. Yet even her largest works retain the graceful curving lines and the lightness that make this piece so compelling.