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Edmund de Waal: if we attend

[ Exhibition )

A close up photograph of 11 circular dishes stacked on a white shelf by Edmund de Waal.

Edmund de Waal, in the north north east, 2014 © Edmund de Waal courtesy New Art Centre, Roche Court, Photograph by Mike Bruce

A collection of porcelain vessels created by Edmund de Waal and inspired by the artist David Jones.

British artist de Waal encountered the art and poetry of Jones at Kettle’s Yard while studying English at The University of Cambridge. When he later started working with porcelain, it was Jones’ work that profoundly influenced his approach to making.

‘if we attend’ (2015), is the name of a white, wall-mounted vitrine with translucent glazing and 16 porcelain vessels. This was a new piece produced especially for the Jones exhibition. It references the calming slowing down effect of these words in the second line of Jones’s poem The Anathemata: ‘We already and first of all discern him making this thing other. His groping syntax, if we attend, already shapes…’.

The work, displayed alongside two other porcelain works – ‘in the north north east’ (2014) and ‘thirteen circles’ (2014) – was accompanied by a series of poems by Jones, creating a contemplative space reflecting the nature of the work.

The exhibition ran concurrently with David Jones: Vision and Memory.

The works in this exhibition were kindly lent by the artist’s studio and the New Art Centre.

This exhibition was made possible by a number of generous organisations and individuals

Want to know more?

If you’re conducting research into this artist or another aspect of Modern British art and would like to use our library and archive, please contact Sarah Norris, Collections Manager on

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