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Persephone (Rites of Spring II): C.32A & B-2013

An image of Pair of containers

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Persephone (Rites of Spring II)


Potter: Rena, Nicholas




Pair of ceramic flared containers, one taller than the other, burnished and stained with coloured inks and painted in neon green and silver grey


History note: Joanna Bird, selling exhibition, 'Soane Comes Home', held at Maggs Bros Ltd, 50 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 5BA from 14-20 October 2013; purchased by Nicholas and Judith Goodison

Legal notes

Given by Nicholas and Judith Goodison through The Art Fund

Place(s) associated

  • Chiswick ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2013-11-25) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


21st Century, Early
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 2012


Nicholas Rena (b.1963) studied architecture at Cambridge from 1982-88 before completing an MA in Ceramics and Glass at The Royal College of Art in London in 1995. His oversize vessel forms reflect his architectural background and a preoccupation with space, and are sometimes presented in groups (see C.32A & B-2013). The clay body is often colour stained, sometimes with brightly coloured interiors, and is sanded and burnished to a marble-like smooth surface. Rena was nominated for the Jerwood Applied Art Prize in Ceramics in 2001. He has exhibited internationally and his work can be seen in many public collections.

Text from object entry in A. Game (2016) ‘Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum’. London: Philip Wilson Publishers: Nicholas Rena was first introduced to the world of ceramics at school through his art teacher, Gordon Baldwin (b.1932). He went on to study Architecture at Cambridge but, following a brief period of practice, returned to ceramics, completing an MA at the Royal College of Art, London in 1995. He subsequently established a studio in London, where he still lives and works, developing a series of monumental vessels that draw on archetypal domestic and ritual pottery forms – the jug, the bowl – but re-scaled as compelling works of sculpture. His ability to activate different spatial environments with these forms was recognized by an invitation to participate in a show in 2013 at the Sir John Soane Museum in London entitled Marking the Line: Ceramics and Architecture in which this work was shown. Nicholas Rena: ‘For those of us making a certain type of ceramic vessel, one of the central metaphors in such work, which is perhaps too obvious to state, is that these vessels are empty. It is a powerful metaphor – to produce a body of work about containment which is intended to remain resolutely empty.’

Components of the work

Decoration composed of stain
Left-hand Piece Diameter 11 cm Height 49.5 cm Width 22 cm
Right-hand Piece Diameter 7.5 cm Height 50.8 cm Width 16.5 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Press moulding

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.32A & B-2013
Primary reference Number: 197759
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 25 March 2014 Updated: Tuesday 15 December 2020 Last processed: Friday 29 September 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Persephone (Rites of Spring II)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-02 14:54:27

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