We are delighted to present ‘Staffordshire Lady’ by Laura Ford, created for Tate by the artist. Made and hand-glazed in Stoke-on-Trent in the tradition of Staffordshire china dogs.
Laura Ford creates unsettling sculptural creatures which explore the human condition through their anthropomorphic qualities. She has exhibited widely, representing Wales in the Venice Biennale in 2005, and most recently presenting her work within the Gothic setting of Strawberry Hill House. Her work is owned by many major collections around the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Arts Council, and Tate.
'Staffordshire Lady’ was made at the same time as I made ‘The Waldegrave Poodles’ for Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House. The poodles reference the painting of the Ladies Waldegrave, Walpole’s nieces, by Joshua Reynolds, which was commissioned in order to improve their chances of a good marriage.
‘Staffordshire Lady’ is a people’s poodle, earthier, less rarefied , her humanity closer to the surface and, as such, she is closer to the wonderful early salt glazed Staffordshire pottery than to the refinement of Reynolds’s aristocratic young ladies.
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