Kaori Tatebayashi grew up in the Japanese village of Arita famous for its Imari ware. As a child, she spent a great deal of time playing in the pottery factory of her relatives. She breathed the atmosphere of ceramics making mesmerized by the work of the craftsmen. I imagine her sitting near the potter's wheel, silent as a cat, unobserved and totally absorbed in the assimilation of all she could sense. Her work is fed by the thousand details of her daily life in South London - a squirrel paying a visit to her Austin roses, her black cat sniffing a stag beetle, a black bird filling his chubby cheecks with grains, baby pigeons playing hide and seek in the dusk. Nature is omnipresent in her work. Creating her pieces of clay is a way for her to encapsulate and to transform the memory of her chidhood landscapes. She explains how the pattern of Kage plate, named after the Japanese word shadow was inspired by the silhouette of a plant. Similarly, the edges of Kumo series resemble mountain ridges. Browsing through the pages of her Tumblr is like being admitted to have a peek at her sketchbook, to share some of her inner world and harmony power. To me it is an endless source of joy and meditation. It is like tasting the essence of Japanese Spring.
Photographs © Kaori Tatebayashi