Wendy Hoare

Local sculptor reunited with her creation at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

A Northampton sculptor has been reunited with one of her rare creations after decades apart, thanks to the Technique Exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Wendy Hoare, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and ceramic artist, who lives in the town, produced large one-off pieces of pottery throughout her career which were sold around the globe.

As a professional member of the Craft Potters Guild, an association of top potters where a ‘recognisable style’ was a pre-requisite of membership, she was well known for her particularly beautiful large designs, often purchased for the gardens of stately homes.

Her work was inspired by the rhythm, power and grace of all natural forms with wide and varied influences including the earthenware of ancient Greece and Egypt along with 20th Century sculpture, medieval and renaissance art.

Wendy had a studio in her garden at Billing Road, Northampton and was a member of The Northampton Guild of Designers and Craftsmen.

Now at the age of 79, Wendy has kept just one of the pots she so skilfully created over decades of work, and despite still being celebrated on the social media platforms Pinterest and Flickr, she is no longer producing work due to limited mobility.

However, serendipity stepped in when a friend who was visiting the Technique exhibition at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery spotted a large pot with Wendy’s name next to it.

The two then took a special trip to the museum accompanied by the Collection’s Manager and for the first time in decades, the artist’s creation, the earthenware piece entitled ‘Broken Egg’ and the creator were once again back together.

There is still time to see Wendy’s piece and visit the exhibition which runs until February 12th.

Wendy Hoare, sculptor and ceramicist, said:  

“I knew Northampton Museum had purchased a piece of my work for their ceramic collection many years ago but never imagined it might be exhibited again. It’s so wonderful to see this piece which is one of the many in the collection I created.

“Thank you to the curator of the exhibition for choosing my work and for the opportunity to see it again.”

Jane Seddon, Collections Manager at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery,  said:  

“We are thrilled to have Wendy’s piece, delighted to meet her and we are now in the process of putting a whole biography together about Wendy’s artistic life. We knew very little about her other than that she produced work here in the town so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more of the artist behind the art.

“There is still time to see Wendy’s piece. The Technique exhibition runs for one more month, until 12th February. This exhibition is free of charge and for all ages. It explores the processes artists go through to produce their work and the techniques they employ. This whole exhibition provides an opportunity to look beyond the artist and subject matter and gain a greater understanding into how artworks are created across a variety of media.

“As well as her work I would urge residents to come and see the wide cross-section of works from our Fine Art collection including drawings, prints oil paintings, sculpture and watercolours as well as key pieces from our collections of Textile Art and Studio Pottery.”

Louise Seymour, Assistant Director for Place Shaping, said: 

“I am delighted to hear about this heart-warming story of our local sculptor and ceramicist Wendy Hoare and her place in the Technique exhibition, which runs to the end of the month. There is still time to see her work along with all the other exhibitions. I will pop in and take a look myself.

“I urge all residents of West Northants to explore the museum and art gallery which is a fantastic centre which showcases all varieties of fascinating exhibitions and I’m sure this is one of many great news stories and happy days which it has given people since opening.”

Repair Not Replace