Review: Birds of a Feather at Bluecoat Display Centre

Sophie Woodrow Ceramics
Sophie Woodrow Ceramics

23 January-27 February
At Bluecoat Display Centre

Review by Natalia Morones

Louise Gardiner’s and Sophie Woodrow’s exhibition at the Bluecoat Display Centre brings mysticism and creativity   to our current times. They collect images of nature and wisdom to make their own world and express the power of their techniques they employ intricate methods of sculpture and embroidery, with highly visual language.

Both artists share a unique perspective of what is nature in the way they create their work. All the pieces have great character and each piece is unique.

Sophie Woodrow creates refined sculptures in white porcelain, transferring the simplicity of nature, the purity of the colour and art, giving the viewer the feeling of mythical creatures staring back.
Even though the sculptures seem to be created magically, it involves an extensive amount of work and techniques of incisions, coiling and impressing, to create a unique texture in each one.
The Owl, is a piece that evokes an enchanting sensation, the emptiness of the sculpture combine with the white, giving a peculiar look and a sense of frivolity, one can’t stop thinking that in any moment the bird will come alive, It is a curious feeling  being observed by sculpture with no eyes and feeling the intensity of the look. Only textures and shapes remind one of the human touches in it. It is truly an extraordinary collection.

Louise Gardiner is an artist with a great amount of creativity. In this collection she has developed inspirational patterns from nature, from an owl transformed into a priest, to funny characters, of birds with human’s attitudes. Her extensive dedication to each of her pieces is something to admire. Each piece is bright and loud captivating the viewer. She is able to translate laugher, wisdom and nature in to the work, hers is a happy art that leaves you with a smile, Electric Blossom is a piece that is reminiscent of the patterns of the huichol art, an old civilization of Mexico situated in the desert, their patterns involve nature shapes and bright colours is an old art handmade that incorporates religious views. The difference with Louise Gardener is that she is able to put images of the past and nature into our modern times.

So what do these two artists have in common?  One could say the images are similar or even some ideas. But what it is really is the dedication and amount of creativity that has been invested to each piece making them unique and captivating. These collections are truly alive. They posses all the mysticism and imagination of nature and intricate techniques, leaving the viewer with the images long after they gone, Birds of a Feather exposition, captures the imagination.
Natalia Morones
Freelance journalist from Mexico City .

Louise Gardiner talking about her work at the Bluecoat Display Centre on Thursday 25th February
. Tickets are £4.95 (concession £3.95) and available from the gallery , over the phone or by email. tel: 0151 709 4014 / email: