Abigail Ozora Simpson is a ceramic sculptor. The British artist was originally trained as an actress; but after graduation from the Drama Centre in London, she became fascinated with ceramics.
The hand-coiled pieces that she makes quickly gained international acclaim; especially the “Bobble” pots which have become her trademark. These vessels are hand-coiled from stoneware clay and fired at 1,280 degrees centigrade.
Simpson wants to change peoples’ perceptions about clay. As the daughter of renowned painter Michael Simpson, she recognizes that some people don’t understand the complexities of this unique medium. With the international excitement that she’s received, as well as being displayed at Ralph Pucci International, we think that perceptions are indeed altered!
Thankfully, Simpson’s studio in Hoxton is large enough to house her substantially-sized sculptures. This former ice-cream factory serves as the place where these large objects move through their various architectural stages. This is clearly NOT a place where “traditional” studio pottery is made.
When asked about her process, Simpson said, “For several years, the theme of the vessel has been a constant in all my work. During that time I have attempted to develop every aspect of it’s physical possibilities.”
The techniques that Simpson uses are reminiscent of ancient African methods. Each sculpture is formed of a single weighty coil which is hand-rolled. The coils are carefully kneaded into place and left to dry before the next one is added. Simpson’s fingerprints and palm impressions often remain melded into the pattern. Due to sheer size and complexity, each sculpture is completely unique and may take anywhere from three weeks to three months to complete.
Simpson has been the subject of several solo shows in London, New Zealand, and New York. Being displayed on three different continents has increased her recognition immensely. In addition to gallery exhibitions, Simpson has been commissioned to produce works for a number of private collections; among those who have a piece are the British singer, Annie Lennox and the esteemed designer, Donna Karan.