Kaori Tatebayashi (b. 1972) is a Japanese ceramicicts, living and working in London for the last 20 years. While studying ceramics in Kyoto and London, Kaori explored what new possibilities clay could have and what this familiar material meant to her own identity. Its paradoxical nature was fascinating, simultaneously having a sense of fragility and permanence.
Working in hand formed white stoneware, she produces portraits of flowers and plants with amazing precision, not only describing how they look, but also how they feel. The result is an experience which comes very close to nature. Modelling directly from flowers and plants in season, Kaori creates three-dimensional sculptures in which she aims 'to capture time and preserve it within the clay.' The fired ceramics encapsulate the fragility of nature's cycle, preserving the fleeting moments of a plants life.
'Whatever you make with soft and malleable clay, the firing will result in irreversible changes. Clay will end its organic life, and what remains after the firing is like a lifeless 'shell'. It becomes strong and durable, but at the same time it can be destroyed in an instant when dropped.'
Born in Arita, the home of Imari porcelain in Japan, Kaori grew up in a family trading pottery and was surrounded by beautiful ceramics since her childhood. She studied ceramics at Kyoto City University of Art and at The Royal College of Art. She has exhibited internationally, received awards from the Crafts Council, and carried out a commission for the British Museum's Grenville Room in 2009.