Berrow's sculptures have become wildly popular in recent times, with an impressive number of group and solo shows under her belt, we have a Q&A chat with the up-and-coming artist.
Her infamous ceramic works blend reality with fantasy to create intricate still-life sculptures. Subverting the still-life genre with her playful talismans, she often forms overflowing ashtrays or elaborate plates of food that elicit familiar moments felt in the everyday. Adored by many, it may be hard to believe the artist only began a full-time practice two years ago. With some new sculptural arrivals hitting the gallery, it’s her turn to answer our 5 quick questions...
Portrait of the artist
HU: What drew you to ceramics?
AB: My mother, Miranda Berrow, is a fantastic ceramicist and while locked away with her in Dorset in 2020 I gave it a go… I loved the process of starting with a smidge of clay to shape, with the power to make whatever I dreamt of, and then two weeks later having something that could outlast my lifetime.
‘Forget Me Not’ (2022)
Alma Berrow, LAMB Gallery
HU: Your artistic journey began, professionally, at Falmouth University and you have achieved an extraordinary amount already - what is next for Alma Berrow?
AB: I feel like when I left Falmouth I took an almost 10-year 'B road' to get to where I am now. I worked in creative industries (Pastry Chef, Artist Assistant, Creative Youth Worker, Hospitality) however I was always working for someone else's creative needs. For most of the last three years, I have focussed on my creative needs alone which is both liberating and terrifying, for the best of reasons. I hope to continue on my journey, work larger and learn as much as I can on the way - I feel glasswork would be a fun next extension!
'Ifs and Butts' (2021) for Sotheby’s Woman (Artists) show
HU: A recurring motif is cigarettes. Tell me, what’s the hook?
AB: The nicotine haha!
The artist in her West London studio
HU: You create the most amazing everyday objects such as ashtrays, plates, board game tops. Can you give us a bit more of an insight into what piques your interest in them?
AB: The everyday and the mundane. The small things you pass by or miss because our brains are too busy thinking about a million other things. Be they amusing, disgusting or perfectly average; when you pull them out of situ and immortalise them in ceramics they stand alone, strong and with their own narrative.
HU: What do you want your audience to feel when looking at your sculptures?
AB: Within my work I have my own private personal story, however, I want people to first feel a sense of play. To reconnect with their inner child. Depending on the works, I hope to evoke a memory – be it pleasurable, painful or the sweet point right in between. I feel art should be enjoyed by all and, if one wants, there is a deeper meaning to be searched out.
One of a series of works created for Liberty London in 2021
Photograph by Joy Berrow
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, it's been a pleasure.
- White Earthenware
- Signed by the artist
- 9cm x 7cm
You may notice cigarettes as a recurring theme throughout Berrow's works. She is fascinated by objects that represent the mundanity of everyday life.
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