Photograph © Nicholas Middleton 2009

Tana West is an artist working predominantly with ceramic processes, using the language of ceramic materials and object making to connect with social, political and historical contexts.  She studied sculpture at Central St Martins, completing her MA at the Royal College of Art in Ceramics and Glass in 2014. Whilst at the RCA she received the Sir Eduardo Paolozzi Travel Award to go on a journey overland by train to St. Petersburg to visit a museum of Soil science. Since graduating Tana has been involved with several place specific and collaborative projects including investigating apple culture in Somerset, working with environmental historians examining our relationship to water, wading into the mud and as an Anglo-Swedish Society Scholar at Konstfack University in Stockholm. West won the Award at the British Ceramics Biennial in 2017 for her [UN]WOVEN project and has been selected for the Jerwood makers Open for 2019.

‘My practice and research methods are mobile, the process of making work begins with a journey, the path it takes is contingent on what is found and can be transported. Like a present-day hunter gather in search of materials, I have collected and used estuarine mud, excavated clay, brick and rock fragments to make glazes and clay bodies which are regionally specific. I am semi-scientific in approach, experimental and with a certain acceptance of uncertainty, this way of working allows for materials to express their vibrancy. I also appreciate ceramic objects’ abilities for deception, it can pretend to be other things but is ultimately always ceramic with all that entails. The materiality of ceramics has a wide vocabulary: ideas, making and objects weave together to navigate contemporary concerns.’