Tamsin van Essen is a British designer based in London. A graduate of the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins, she specialises in conceptual design and has recently been using the medium of ceramics to explore scientific, medical and social historic themes. Material experimentation is a strong characteristic of her work, probing how the material qualities of ceramics can be altered through unusual additions, and creative intervention into standard industrial and craft production processes. Her work sits at the interface between art and design, with one-off collectables and conversation pieces.

Work Samples

  • Vanitas Vanitatum

  • Ornamental Metamorphosis

  • Erosion series

Work History

Education: 2012: MA Ceramics & Glass Royal College of Art, London 2007: BA Ceramic Design (1st) Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London 1998: BA Physics & Philosophy (2:1) Balliol College, Oxford University Public Collections: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel CNAP, Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, Canada Wellcome Collection, London, UK Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum, London, UK Exhibitions: 2014 Revealing the Anatomy of a Museum - Life Sciences Museum, King's College London 14-17 Dec 2014 Pangolin Gallery - Sculpture Windows, London 1 Dec - 18 Feb 2015 ArtNeuro - The Rag Factory, London 6-9 Nov 2014 Youngs Masters - Sphinx Fine Art, London 14-31 Oct 2014 Young Masters - Lloyds Club, London 16 Sept - 5 Dec 2014 2013 Beauty - SCIN Gallery, London 15 Nov 2013 - 31 March 2014 Subversive Design - Brighton Museum 12 Oct 2013 - 9 March 2013 British Ceramics Biennial - Award Exhibition, Stoke-on-Trent 28 Sept - 10 Nov 2013 Masterpiece London 2013 - with Gordon Watson Ltd, London 27 June - 3 July 2013 10 Downing Street - exhibition in the Prime Minister's office, curated by Janice Blackburn, London 28 May - 14 March 2014 Design Days Dubai - with Galerie Sofie Lachaert, Dubai 18 - 21 March 2013 2012 Smashing - Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center, Tel Aviv, Israel 6 Dec 2012 - 23 Feb 2013 Sculptural Subtleties - Galerie Altena, Gorinchem, Netherlands 3 Nov 2012 - 28 Feb 2013 Biennale Interieur 2012- Kortrijk, Belgium 20-28 Oct 2012 When I Woke - Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Wales 6 Oct - 17 Nov 2012 Rupert Cavendish Antiques - Pop-up with Flow Gallery, London 25 Sept - 2 Oct 2012 Mint: Spatial Surprise - Mint, London 14-23 Sept 2012 Bone - Florence Nightingale Museum, London 19 July - 30 Aug 2012 Show RCA 2012 - Royal College of Art, London 20 June - 1 July 2012 Collect -Saatchi Gallery, London 11-14 May 2012 Paradise - Ventura Lambrate, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan 17-22 April 2012 Peaux d'Âmes - NextLevel Galerie, Paris 15 March - 5 May 2012 Ceramic Art London - Royal College of Art, London 24 - 26 Feb 2012 Mirrors & Candles - Galerie Sofie Lachaert, Tielrode, Belgium 5 Feb - 8 April 2012 2011 Work in Progress Show - Royal College of Art, London 1-9 Dec 2011 Virus - The Barn, St. John's College, Oxford 10 Sept - 9 Oct 2011 Le Décor est Planté - Fondation Bernardaud, Limoges 22 June 2011 - 30 March 2012 FLUX - Wallspace, London 22 June - 8 July 2011 Ceramic Art London - Royal College of Art, London 25-27 Feb 2011 2010 Work in Progress Show - Royal College of Art, London 26 Nov - 3 Dec 2010 Skin - Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London 10 June - 26 Sept 2010 2009 CraftDesign - DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague 16-31 Dec 2009 Okolo - Design Supermarket, Prague 10-13 Dec 2009 White Out - Spring Design & Art, Brooklyn, NY 15 Oct - 30 Nov 2009 Nature and Other Anomalies - Commissaires, Montreal 24 Sept - 30 Nov 2009 Design for Science - Reitoria da Universidade do Porto 17 Sept - 28 Nov 2009 'Wish List' Li Edelkoort - Pierre Bergé, Salles des Beaux Arts, Brussels 10-13 Sept 2009 Al-Sabah Art & Design Gallery Kuwait 13 June - 11 July 2009 Collect - Saatchi Gallery, London 15-17 May 2009 Kirkcaldy Museum Fife 9 May - 21 June 2009 Working Title - Designersblock, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan 22-27 April 2009 Small Show Huge Talent - Sotheby's, New Bond Street, London 22 -29 March 2009 Maison & Objet - Paris-Nord Villepinte, Paris 23-27 Jan 2009 Medical Museion Copenhagen 21 Jan - 12 April 2009 2008 Galerie Sofie Lachaert Tielrode, Belgium 23 Nov 2008 - 11 Jan 2008 Tina B. - Prague Contemporary Art Festival, Prague 25 Sept - 15 Oct 2008 Designersblock - Covent Garden Piazza, London 18-21 Sept 2008 Kithkin Window - Selfridges & Co, Duke Street, London 5 Sept - 25 Oct 2008 Object as Muse - Crafts Council, Winchester Discovery Centre 8 Aug - 19 Oct 2008 Galerie Vernon (solo show) Prague 23 June - 14 Sept 2008 Pulse - Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London 1-3 June 2008 Some Rights Reserved - Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan 16 - 21 April 2008 Fragiles - Gallery 113, Kortijk, Belgium 15 Feb - 9 Mar 2008 Nobel Museum Stockholm 6 Feb - 31 Aug 2008 Art Hand Design - Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, London 14 Jan - 20 Feb 2008 Interiors Birmingham - Future Trends, NEC Birmingham 20 - 23 Jan 2008 2007 Design Miami Marcy Building, Miami, Florida 6 - 9 Dec 2007 Museum of Science and Industry Manchester 10 Nov 2007 - 2 Jan 2008 100% Design Tokyo - KithKin, Container Ground, Jingu Gaien Aoyama, Tokyo 31 Oct -1 Nov 2007 Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum (solo show), Lambeth High Street, London 1-19 Oct 2007 Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (solo show) Blackfriars Lane, London 27 Sept 2007 New Designers Selection - Oxo Tower Gallery, London 20-23 Sept 2007 KithKin Presents - Designersblock, Shoreditch High Street, London 19-23 Sept 2007 Designboom: Handled with Care - Designersblock, London 19-23 Sept 2007 Sunderland Museum Sunderland 18 Sept - 28 Oct 2007 New Designers - Business Design Centre, Islington, London 5-8 July 2007 Atoms to Art - University College London 28 June 2007 Central Saint Martins Degree Show London 16-21 June 2007 Pulse - Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London 3-5 June 2007 CSM Design Innovation - The Innovation Centre, Red Lion Square, London 14-18 May 2007 Xhibit 07 - The Arts Gallery, Davies Street, London 15 March-13 April 2007 Direction 2007 - Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, London 22 Jan - 17 March 2007 Other Projects: Making Enhanced - Collaborative research project linking makers and writers (www.makingenhanced.com) 2014-2015 Parallel Practices - Crafts Council funded residency, collaborating with Dr Richard Wingate, Anatomy Dept, King's College London (http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/parallel-practices/) 2014 ArtNeuro - Collaboration with neurobiologist Christian Matheou (www.artneuro.co.uk) 2014 Thinking Hands Symposium - with Clayground Collective: discussing research into the role of ceramics and craft skills in improving tactile observation, Sept 2014 Four Rooms - My Medical Heirlooms and I featured on Channel 4 Four Rooms episode 15, June 2013 Waddesdon Manor - Illustrations of Sèvres porcelain commissioned by National Trust 2011 KithKin - Conceptual design collective, virtual studio and ideas factory 2007-2010 Working Title - Design newspaper published daily during the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan 09 and London Design Festival 2009 House of Fraser - lighting design commission 2008 HoleŇ°ovice Prague - bone china lighting installation in former pharmacy 2008 Material+ - Material-led collaboration with Staatliche Hochschule fur Gestaltung Karlsruhe 2007 Atoms to Art - Art-Science symposium series and network 2007

Specialties

Awards

Awards: 2014: Crafts Council Parallel Practices Residency 2013: JCVA Residency Award, Tel Aviv + Jerusalem 2013: Craft Pottery Charitable Trust Award 2013: Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Nomination 2012: David Canter Memorial Award 2007: Wellcome Trust Design for Science Prize (second prize) 2006: Chartered Society of Designers Student Design Award 2006: William Atkinson Scholarship, Central Saint Martins Coverage in Books: 'The...
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