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Candy Lady acquisition

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We’re excited to announce the acquisition of a pair of ceramic vessels, Candy Lady (2020) by American, Oxford-based artist and Turner Bursary winner, Shawanda Corbett (b. 1989). This pair of vessels forms an abstract portrait of a ‘Candy Lady’, typically a friendly older woman who would sell sweets cheaply to local children in the Mississippi community of the artist’s childhood. Part of a series of paired ceramics that capture the individual personalities of local people remembered by Corbett, these works aim to elevate and give dignity and humanity to individual African Americans often ignored or reduced to stereotypes in the media. In each pair, one piece suggests the appearance of the particular character, the other, their personality. Corbett creates abstract paintings, ceramics, poetry and performance. Raised between Mississippi and New York, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford. Born without legs and with only one arm, movement and ideas about what constitutes a ‘complete’ body, are key to Corbett’s work. She improvised the painting on Candy Lady while dancing to ‘Part 3: Pursuance’ from John Coltrane’s acclaimed 1965 jazz album, A Love Supreme. Earlier this year, Corbett was awarded a Turner Bursary – one of ten bursaries given out in place of the annual Turner Prize. Shawanda Corbett (b. 1989), Candy Lady (pair, 2020), stoneware, thrown, painted and stained, with gold lustre © Shawanda Corbett @cyborg_artist

#ceramic #ceramicsculpture #ceramics #shawandacorbett #shawanda #newacquisition #collections #worldcollections2020 #fitzwilliammuseum #womenartists #womeninarts

Collections database information

Stoneware, thrown (upside down) in sections and joined, painted underglaze, with encapsulated stain and gold lustre

Stoneware vessel, thrown (upside down) in sections and joined. Alternating sections of gold lustre and predominantly abstract blue and white, painted underglaze with encapsulated stain. High raised foot of gold lustre, widening to bulbous body with abstract decoration of predominantly blue and white, with touches of pink and buff, and a pink spiral, with obvious throwing lines, narrowing to gold lustre shoulders, topped by a final section of blue and white.

Shawanda Corbett, Oxford; Corvi-Mora Gallery, 1a Kempsford Road, London, SE11 4NU, from whom purchased using the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum Fund.

Acquisition and important dates

  • Method of acquisition: Bought
  • Dates: 2020-06-11

Dating

Corbett (b. 1989) is an interdisciplinary artist who creates abstract paintings, ceramics, poetry and performance. Born without legs and with only one hand, Corbett’s work reflects her perspective as a woman of colour with a disability and often addresses notions of what constitutes a ‘complete body’. Raised between Mississippi and New York, Corbett is pursuing a practice-led doctoral degree in Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford.

The decoration of each piece is the result of movement and dance – Corbett improvised the painting on this piece and C.26-2020 while listening and dancing to ‘Part 3: Pursuance’ from John Coltrane’s 1965 album, 'A Love Supreme'.

This vessel is a companion to C.26-2020. They were exhibited together in Corbett’s first solo exhibition, 'Neighbourhood Garden', held at Corvi-Mora Gallery, London (16 June - 31 July 2020). This exhibition comprised works on paper and ceramics that capture the individual personalities of local people from Corbett’s Mississippi neighbourhood, whom she encountered throughout her childhood. These works aimed to move past common ‘tropes’ of African American characters, instead giving dignity and humanity to people often ignored or reduced to stereotypes. The work was produced in pairs; one piece suggesting the appearance of a character, the other, their personality. The amount of lustre on each piece is representative of the status of the character in Corbett’s eyes.

Maker(s)

Note

Corbett (b. 1989) is an interdisciplinary artist who creates abstract paintings, ceramics, poetry and performance. Born without legs and with only one hand, Corbett’s work reflects her perspective as a woman of colour with a disability and often addresses notions of what constitutes a ‘complete body’. Raised between Mississippi and New York, Corbett is pursuing a practice-led doctoral degree in Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford.

The decoration of each piece is the result of movement and dance – Corbett improvised the painting on this piece and C.26-2020 while listening and dancing to ‘Part 3: Pursuance’ from John Coltrane’s 1965 album, 'A Love Supreme'.

This vessel is a companion to C.26-2020. They were exhibited together in Corbett’s first solo exhibition, 'Neighbourhood Garden', held at Corvi-Mora Gallery, London (16 June - 31 July 2020). This exhibition comprised works on paper and ceramics that capture the individual personalities of local people from Corbett’s Mississippi neighbourhood, whom she encountered throughout her childhood. These works aimed to move past common ‘tropes’ of African American characters, instead giving dignity and humanity to people often ignored or reduced to stereotypes. The work was produced in pairs; one piece suggesting the appearance of a character, the other, their personality. The amount of lustre on each piece is representative of the status of the character in Corbett’s eyes.

Place(s) associated

  • Oxford

Identification number

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