(report on the Setting the Scene Symposium by Simone ten Hompel and Deborah Werbner)
Paul Scott is a Cumbrian based artist and academic working in ceramics. He reviewed the historical antecedents to the Willow Pattern in ceramics and other traditional blue ceramic pattern work that depicts landscape. The history of ceramics depicting landscape is long and culturally ubiquitous. Indeed he demonstrated how many different cultures seem to appropriate similar generic type of landscape images. What does it mean, for example, when an image derived from a farm scene in Gloucestershire, is adopted by the Dutch, the Swedes or the Finns as their own? Contemporary ceramic practice has subverted pastoral views for political or personal statements. In his own work, Scott has transformed the willow pattern to make comments for example on slavery – past and present; political prisoners; or even the demise of the traditional ceramics industry.