Flex Sculpture

Matthew Raw
Flex Sculpture is an expressive artwork piece by ceramic artist, Matthew Raw, that explores the varied architectural landscape across East and West London. The diverse language of masonry and rusticated stone work from one end of the city to the other formed the basis of Matthew's research during his six-month Ceramics Residency at the V&A Museum in 2015 and ultimately led to the creation of Flex Sculpture first exhibited at Clad, Matthew Raw's solo show in 2017 at The Ragged School Museum.

During a six-month Ceramic Residency at the V&A Museum in 2015, Matthew travelled between the museum and his East London-based studio in Hoxton. The journey between these two urban poles revealed a huge array of rusticated stone work and finishes across the city, which traditionally were used to soften the facades and hard-lines of big, block buildings. Further exploration of this technique led to material experiments blending texture and form. Flex Sculpture is an imaginary architectural feature which displays glaze and rustication as a standalone sculptural statement, in contrast to its traditional architectural and masonry application.
Material: Grogged terracotta with lead, mustard glaze.
cm: Width 55cm, Depth 60cm, Height 85cm
inches: Width 21.7in, Depth 23.6in, Height 33.5in
Care Instructions:Dust with soft lint free cloth


The use of grogged terracotta, stronger than other clay cousins, allows Matthew to work at scale whilst also giving a nod to British architectural tradition. The piece has been covered with a white slip before applying a lead mustard glaze, which helps to accentuate both the colour, and the way the glaze navigates and pools across the pitted surface. Using largely the slab building method, the individual components were designed to fit the dimensions of the kiln and then textured by Matthew using a ceramic turning tool before being smoothed with his fingers. From his East London studio, the components were then transported to the V&A Museum to be assembled - a symbolic response to the tensions of the two different ends of the city.
The Maker Matthew Raw Ceramicist - South East England

Matthew Raw is a ceramic artist who explores the physical and communicative properties of the tile, using textures, colour and language to tell stories of people and place. Matthew completed the prestigious ceramics residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015, in addition to winning a Jerwood Makers Award in 2014.

His projects span galleries, residency formats and education establishments, and he has shown work across the UK and internationally in the USA, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark. In 2020 he is working towards a large tiled mural for The University of Warwick ahead of Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021.