Bernard Leach: Artist

In his first passport, Bernard Leach described his occupation as 'artist' by which he meant that he'd undertaken a formal Art School education and mixed with artists in London. He set out for Japan, in 1909, with the intention to practice and teach etching. Famously, the course of his life changed when he attended a raku firing in Tokyo with a group of Japanese friends. He found his calling and began a remarkable career as a potter – first in Japan, then after 1920, based in St Ives.

But Bernard Leach did not live by pots alone. As well as etching, he experimented with lithography and wood block printing. He sketched and drew incessantly. While internationally renowned for his ceramics, one of his greatest legacies was his writing: instructional, verbose, opinionated, romantic, philosophical.

This exhibition, with text by Prof. Simon Olding, explored the depth and breadth of Bernard Leach the Artist: painter and printmaker, writer, designer, collector and potter.