Richard Slee
Mantlepiece Observations

26 July 2021 to 30 January 2022

This exhibition has now closed.

Free Admission

Visit Hove Museum to see brand new artworks created by one of Britain’s most influential ceramic artists.

Richard Slee is a prominent British contemporary ceramic artist. For Mantlepiece Observations Slee takes his inspiration from the archive of Mass Observation, the pioneering social research organisation. One of the first tasks the Mass Observation volunteer observers were given was to write down ‘in order from left to right’ what was on their mantlepieces.

Richard Slee in his studio. Photograph by Madeleine Waller.

Mantlepiece Observations is concerned with the unusual significance of certain domestic objects. Slee begins with something ordinary – a clock, a pair of pottery dogs, a Toby jug – and changes it in some way that invests it with new interest. For this exhibition, he has taken words and phrases that appear in the 1937 mantelpiece reports and transformed them into new ceramic pieces. He has also drawn inspiration from the work of the Mass Observation photographer, Humphrey Spender, who is best-known for his documentary images of Bolton in the 1930s.

The Mass Observation archive is stored at The Keep in Brighton

Film One


Film Two


Film Three