The Syria Series No.12, Palmyra by Paul Scott


'The Syria Series No.12, Palmyra' by Paul Scott (2021).

In-glaze decal collage on partially erased Palmyra plate by Brownfield, c.1870.

Diameter: 235 mm

Height: 25 mm

'The Syria Series' is part of Cumbrian Blue(s) Middle Eastern Transferwares.

In the early nineteenth century printed ‘transferwares’ were part of the new print revolution which democratised imagery through widespread dissemination on paper, textiles and ceramics. Images gleaned from travel narratives in books and magazines, were repurposed to form designs on Staffordshire transferware, and patterns of ‘exotic’ locations graced the surface of many tableware settings.  The images were a by-product of Britain’s imperialist spread across the globe and present a particular pictorial history.

A number of tableware designs featured ‘Middle Eastern’ scenes including Palestine, Syria, Damascus, Palmyra and Aleppo. The patterns were often generic in nature, with the same central design sometimes gracing the surface of wares with differing titles…

Over the past twenty years or so, Paul has been updating different series with scenes of the contemporary carnage and destruction now evident in those places in the region. Many of the works from these series are made using tablewares that are up to 200 years old, and some are damaged, broken or cracked. This seems entirely appropriate for artworks which depict the wanton destruction of cities, lives and landscapes. Some of the breaks and cracks are repaired using the Japanese technique of Kintsugi, the repair delineated in gold. The gold in these works refers to arms dealers, politicians and regimes who profit from the cultivation of conflict.

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