This exhibition is dedicated to my grandmother, Rosina (Rosie) Violet Kersey, who died in 2005 at the age of 91. My grandmother grew up in the East End of London and migrated to New Zealand in 1947 with my grandfather and their two kids, one of whom was my mother. I have early memories, from my stays with her in Nelson, of the vivid colours of her Poole dinner set, which is now in my possession.
Modernist design signalled Britain's post-war recovery, and the bold new designs exemplified by these Poole pieces ensured Poole pottery was at the forefront of British ceramic design during the Fifties and for much of the Sixties and Seventies.
The Poole pottery celebrated its centenary in 1973, and a major Poole exhibition took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1978. The Poole pottery closed down in the late 1990s and even the contents of the pottery's museum were, shamefully, disposed of.
I've been collecting Poole now since 1995. Several of the pieces here were acquired from a single collection, while other pieces have come from places as far away as Geelong in Australia and Taunton in England. Each piece has its own story, but the collection assembled here stands as a testament to a period of progressive British design and as a celebration of my English heritage.