Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts


Retail Gallery Showcase

Claudette Forbes

“Poor Cow” 9 December 2023 – 1 March 2024

“Poor Cow”: A Collection of Slip Cast stoneware Cows, Illustrated Porcelain Milk Bottles and Eco Activism Posters

Claudette’s work draws on her life experience as a child of Jamaican parents, growing up in inner city Bristol, England. She creates ceramic art that is provocative, playful and humorous.  She seeks to test interpretations of the present day, whilst producing tangible objects that contain a certain beauty and references a past.

The cow with its M-logo legs was inspired by a visit to family in Jamaica where, in Montego Bay, the first MacDonald’s had opened. In a neighbouring field stood a solitary cow. The process of making this collection informed her conceptual development, leading her to think about our consumption of the cow and its environmental impact.

The seated cow’s base is modelled directly from a real cow’s tongue, purchased from a local butcher. Handling a cow’s tongue to make its mould was grotesque to Claudette, a meat eater. Thus, the beautiful cow on top of the hideous tongue represents the contradictions in our everyday choices.

The pieces are adorned with her illustrations – a contemporary twist on the traditional blue and white Willow Pattern – depicting scenes and people in Peckham, South London, where she lives.

Claudette is also a musician and she has produced soundtracks to accompany this collection. These can be heard on her website: