Ambassador lauds the beautiful ceramics of London-based Elżbieta Stanhope, By James Brewer
Polish ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Witold Sobków, warmly praised the artistic contribution to London of Polish-born Elżbieta Stanhope, as he opened a major exhibition by the acclaimed ceramicist.
Ambassador Sobków congratulated Mrs Stanhope on what he said was her beautiful work.
Speaking on the opening day at the first floor gallery of the Polish Hearth Club in Exhibition Road, Kensington, the Ambassador said that the artist delighted in producing flowing work free from any rules, giving full reign to the imagination. She always considers she is Polish, and Poland is the country she loves, but “as an artist she is truly a citizen of the world, ” said the Warsaw diplomat.
Mr Sobków brought with him to the event his young daughter Hania, who is keenly developing her own interest in ceramics.
Elżbieta, renowned among her many London friends for her energy and enthusiasm for a wide variety of fine art, presented in her new exhibition some 45 hand-thrown works, the result of hundreds of hours of labour in her studio. These included pots, plates and bowls of various sizes, terracotta jardinières, jug statuettes and a large bowl decorated with fish. All were distinguished by irresistible tactile texture, subtly complemented colour, and inventive design.
A Greco-Roman influence was evident in eight of what she called Pompeian jugs, inspired by the British Museum exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum, which ran from March to September 2013.
Elżbieta’s remarkable gift for endowing her vases and other containers with definite human character was evident in many of the pieces, including one entitled Indian Girl, a prepossessing head adorned with winsome ear-ring.
The creator of this exceptional body of work – her full name is Elżbieta Marylska-Łuszczewska Stanhope – was born in a village southwest of Warsaw to artistic parents who were painters of note. This helped shape her belief that “there is nothing more important in life than art.” After moving to London, the accomplished linguist freelanced for the Polish section of the BBC at Bush House, and painted icons before discovering her passion for ceramics.
Among other successes, she has shown at many London galleries, in the London Potters group, and in the annual Friends of Holland Park Art Society event.
The exhibition, at the Polish Hearth Club, 55 Exhibition Road, London SW7, continues until 4pm on Sunday November 2 2014.