Philip Hardaker

Philip Hardaker was born in Harrogate, North Yorshire in 1954. He attended Harrogate College of Art in 1975 then went on to North Staffordshire Polytechnic to gain a first class honours degree in Fine Art Sculpture. He moved to London in 1977 when he attended the Royal College of Art and gained an M. A in Fine Art Ceramics in 1980. His lecturers included Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake and Lord Queensbury. 

Philip moved to Somerset in 1980, renting a studio in Bruton from Dutch painter Henk Huffener.

Since 1985 he has lived in a seventeenth century packhorse inn on the outskirts of Stoke on Trent, working as a sculptor mainly in the public sector and undertaking many educational projects and private commissions.

Hardaker is an accumulator, a shifter of detritus collecting the flotsam and jetsom of our wasteful consumer society and transforming these materials into art. He represents his work as archeological sculptural paintings made from clay and found objects. For thirty years he has been digging up ancient and modern ceramic shards from Staffordshire and around the world. He employs these fragments of past ages along with his own modelled and cast ceramic elements of heads, animals and aeroplanes in ceramic collages of considerable intricacy and beauty. Hardaker’s work has political and ecological objectives and concerns in communicating comment on historical events. The work is also intrinsically linked with being English and celebrating the past production of Staffordshire ceramics and creativity.

The philosophy, ideas and messages behind the work capture the age we live in with both serious intent and irony and a strong sense of humour.