Rupert Spira is one of Britain’s greatest ceramicists, whose works of ineffable beauty and serenity can be found in galleries, museums and private collections all over the world. For those who love his work, this month offers a rare opportunity. The Oxford Ceramics Gallery is hosting a solo selling exhibition showcasing some of his most outstanding pieces from almost every stage of his 30-year-long career.
This show is a wonderful example of just how extraordinarily moving and almost transcendently beautiful the very finest ceramics can be. It includes Spira’s very early simple bowls (from £500), as well as some of his famous undulating open bowls (£6,400, first picture) and highly sought-after poem bowls (from £1,200), inscribed with words written by Spira and celebrated British poet Kathleen Raine. His glazes range from matt white to a vivid chun blue and a rich copper red.
Most stunning of all perhaps is an exquisitely wrought glass-topped limed-oak table (£20,000, second picture) containing 99 bowls. Each features a line of poetry and together the 99 lines make up a poem. The words are not always easy to read, but this is an inherent part of Spira’s elusive and otherworldly style.