The Ragged School Museum on the banks of Regent’s Canal has witnessed almost two centuries of change in east London, as a succession of communities have come and gone, each leaving their own traces on the urban landscape.
Even the museum buildings themselves have evolved over the decades: warehouse to schoolhouse, factory to museum. Which is probably why ceramic artist Matthew Raw chose the location for his first solo show, Clad – a study of urban evolution, and the migrant populations that drive it, in sculptural ceramic tiles.
Up until 14 May, Raw will be displaying eight specially created artworks in clay, terracotta and earthenware tiles. Each piece is a response to the concept of the urban grid – the framework of streets, buildings, paving stones and indeed tiles, that shapes the cities around us – and the ways in which these grids are transformed by the movement of people over time.
Before the launch of the exhibition, Raw transported the works from his studio in Hoxton to the Museum by a converted barge along Regent's Canal. This unusual journey represents a link to the history of his craft – Britain's father of industrial ceramics, Josiah Wedgwood, was instrumental in the development of the nation's canals, as they were the safest mode of transport for his pottery. Raw said: "I think it's important to understand the past so that you can respect where the future is taking us."
Discover more about the exhibition, and Matthew's work at www.mraw.co.uk.