Sara Flynn


Sara Flynn. Special Award 2019

Medium: Sculptural Forms in Ceramics and Bronze


Sara also won a Merit Award in 2016.

Flection Vessel Pair Camber Vessel Camber Vessel Flection Vessel Spine Camber Vessels Bronze Abstract Form


I have an opportunity to participate in a residency in Japan. It is known to be a culturally rich country which is steeped in history, tradition, tranquility; contrasted with being hugely urban, modern, fast-moving and densely populated. It is also known to be utterly different to life here in the West. Japan holds a unique place in terms of ceramic history , appreciation and culture. The one-month residency, in a rural part of Japan (Sasama, Shizuoka) will be followed by participation in their 3 day Ceramic Festival.

This application is for funding to participate in the month-long Residency and then to avail of being in the country, travelling to see some of the richness and diversity it has to offer (visiting Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, visiting other artist studios where possible).

The residency itself is based on rural living, in a part of Japan which is suffering from an ageing population and emigration. This particular area prides itself on the fact that it still operates in a very traditional way, and the focus of the residency is on the participants' integration in village life. The facilities are not extensive. It sounds incredible while also intensely challenging.

This opportunity would inevitably inform, inspire and fuel my work on my return home. I believe that it is not possible to have such an experience and for it not to affect how one sees things, approaches tasks; understands one's environment better.

The work I make on my return home in response to the experience will be exhibited in London with Erskine Hall and Coe approximately 1 year later.

Artist Statement

Concentrating on the challenges of forms thrown on the potter's wheel which are then altered and changed at varying stages of the drying process, I produce Sculptural Decorative Vessels. 'Closed' Abstract Forms are also explored through the production of limited edition Cast Bronze objects.

The major concerns that my work deals with are a love of Form, Line and Volume expressed through the qualities and scope of my chosen materials. I have an on-going relationship with porcelain, and for now it is still my clay of choice. Of great importance is the potential of new and exciting edges, contours and shapes which can be explored through an understanding of material qualities coupled, crucially, with ever-increasing skill. Surface quality is also critical; I research extensively to find the best glaze for the form; or vice-versa. Patination of the cast metal forms is also meticulously considered to accentuate the form and speak of the material.

The development of the work is fuelled by Process and Finish. I am committed to constant exploration and a deepening understanding of material and how it behaves. I 'Play'. Experiment. I try things out which are often not initially successful. This uninhibited part of my making-cycle involves risk-taking, failure and critical understanding. It is fundamental to my way of understanding and to resolving ideas and forms