Hers isn’t the most extravagant, the cleverest or even the most finely-crafted work in the Clay Studio, but it’s the most sensitive.
Anna Noel is a Welsh ceramicist, but her influences are so wide-ranged that her work doesn’t seem confined by geography. Tomb statues, pre-Colombian art and earthenware folk art all can be tasted in her circus-like animals, soft color choices and raku firing. Even the owners of her work are varied; she’s got pieces in the private collections of Prince Ranier of Monoco and museum curator, landscape designer and mustachioed knight Roy Strong.
The use of old limericks does imply a strange, if distant, connection to her heritage, but the cartoonish, figurative proportions of her pieces are all current.
My favorite is her interpretation of the limerick “The Young Lady of Riga.” In her typical softly-grained style, she portrays a simple, almost primitive woman mounted on a white tiger. The base reads:
There was a young lady of Riga
who rode out upon a tiger
the tiger came back with a smile on her face
and the lady of Riga inside her.
She was guest artist in residence in 2010.