Birds and Beasts at Royal Veterinary College

For the month of May ceramic students from Working Men’s College will be participating on an intervention project at the Royal Veterinary College.  Over 100 pieces of ceramic animals will be installed in the museum at RVC, sharing the space with skeletal models and animal specimens preserved in formalin.  Participating artists include: Wendy Arnot/ Marcella Mameli Badi/ Joanna Baines/ Richard Bates/ Beate Bechtold/ ElizabethBordass/ Jimena Cancino/ John Clarke/ Liz Mendes da Costa/ Leviathen Hendricks/ Pische Hughes/ Charlotte Jarvis/Lesley John/ Kusum Nelson-Jones/ Erna Joy/ Rosh Keegan/ Valli Kohon/ Liz Love/ Sharon Lynch/ Sunil Modi/ Kuniko Oki/ Yiannis Pareas/ Gillian Rathouse/ Miriam Reik/ Margret Rich/ Tony Royle/ Dyan Sheldon/ Karen Sussman/ Anne Tickell/ George Deville/ Hideko Oka Ward/ Nicola Web

33 ceramicists had gathered together on this occasion to create a different experience in viewing ceramics.  Distanced from plinths and pedestals, these works present a non-conventional way of looking and appreciating the medium.  Situated amongst the delicate laboratory samples, the equally fragile ceramic beasts emphasise the multiple ways of imagining animal life forms and how one can gain ideas from animals, whether they be scientific or artistic inspirations.  Amongst the ceramic works, the preserved animals also begin to take on a strange identity that was never before realised.  Perhaps they gain more life, or lose a sense of reality when positioned next to art objects.  The exhibition enunciates the abilities of these objects to influence one another in order to create a challenging context for viewers.

The concept of the project had developed from a large number of ceramic works that students at WMC had produced over the years. With the warm welcome of RVC this project has been made possible and was produced with much hope to inspire many visitors, including artists and scientists.

Exhibition is open via appointments only, from Tuesdays to Fridays 2 – 5pm.  Please contact Erica Shiozaki at, or call 07539931113 to book your appointment.

For more information about the artists and for images of their works, please contact Erica at or through

Installation images:

John Clarke Owl

John Clarke “Large Owl” (2011)



Tony Royle Monster Fish

Tony Royle “Monster Fish” (2012)



Elizabeth Boardass Monkey/ Yiannis Pareas Taurus

From Left: Elizabeth Boardass “Monkey” (2010) and Yiannis Pareas “Taurus” (2012)



installation view

Installation View: Cabinet



Hideko Oka Ward “Origami Birds” (2012)



Installation view - cabinet

Installation View Refectory Cabinet 1



Miriam Reik Pinchy Bird

Miriam Reik “Pinch Bird” (2011)



Installation Cabinet view

Installation View cabinet 2

Installation View - cabinet

Installation View Cabinet 2



Rosh Keegan - Worrier Najinsky;Kettling Warthog; It wasn't me - Great White Northern Rhino

Rosh Keegan – From far left in counter-clockwise: It Wasn’t Me – Great Whit Northern Rhino (2011); Warrior Ninjinsky (2010); and Kettling Warthog (2011)



Installation Cabinet 3

Installation View Cabinet 3



Sharon Lynch Terracotta Dog (2011)

Sharon Lynch “Terracotta Dog” (2011)



Charlotte Jarvis Dachshund (2010)

Charlotte Jarvis “Dachshund” (2010)



From Left: Jimena Cancino and Wendy Arnot

From Left, anti clockwise: Jimena Cancino Bird Vase” (2011); Wendy Arnot “Baby Bird” (2011) and J. Cancino “Kiwi Bowl” (2012)



All photographs by Andrea Heselton

© Andrea Heselton 2012

About ruskingallery

The Ruskin Gallery is located at the Working Men's College in Camden. Ruskin Gallery is a contemporary gallery located in the historic building of Working Men’s College in Camden. In addition to providing students the opportunity to show at a professional level, the exhibition programme at Ruskin Gallery involves inviting external artists for site specific projects. The Ruskin Gallery is run by curator Esther Windsor, who is a curator, artist and writer living and working in London. Working Men’s College (WMC), the oldest surviving adult education institute in Europe, was founded in 1854 and was associated with the Cooperative Movement and the Christian Socialists, stemming, from the same tradition that led later to the Worker’s Educational Association. The Working Women’s College, founded 10 years later in 1864, finally merged with WMC in 1967. Early supporters of both have included F D Maurice, John Stuart Mill, Tom Hughes, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, Ford Maddox Brown, Walter de la Mare and Octavia Hill. Originally based in Red Lion Street, we have been in this listed building in Camden Town since 1905. We have continued to develop the tradition of liberal education and today the College serves the whole community, with women, unemployed and refugee students forming the majority of the student body. We have grown rapidly in recent years but are still small enough to know all our students and to respond to their individual needs. WMC was designated as a Specialist Designated Institution (SDI) under the 1992 Further Education Act.