54 x 66 cm
In the late 1930s, Trevelyan became involved with the Mass Observation movement, who aimed to record British culture, and travelled to Bolton to photograph, interview and paint its inhabitants. On his way home, the artist made a detour to the Potteries on the recommendation of his first wife after she had stayed there with one of the Wedgwood family. He found the new city a new and interesting place and quickly set to work sketching its sites for paintings, 'I settled into a commercial hotel at Burslem and spread out my canvas and painted my pictures, much to the chambermaid's horror' ('The Imaginative Impulse: Julian Trevelyan 1910-88', Bohun, 1998, p.46).
The naive style of his paintings certainly owes a debt to Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis of the St Ives School. Perhaps more significantly, however, was the influence of the Ashington Group, a self-taught collection of Northumbrian miner artists with whom Trevelyan spent time in the autumn of 1938. Trevelyan went on to organise an exhibition of 'Unprofessional Art' in Gateshead, where paintings of the Group and other untutored artists - including Henry Stockley (a bus driver) and David Burton (a pavement artist) - was exhibited alongside those of Alfred Wallis and Trevelyan himself (Ibid, p.15).
Provenancewith Alex Reid and Lefevre, London, (as 'Kilns at Burslem') from where acquired by Wilfrid A. Evill, December 1943, for £21.0.0, by whom bequeathed to Honor Frost in 1963;
acquired by a private collector from Sotheby's, London, 'The Evill Frost Collection', 2011.
London, The Home of Wilfrid Evill, organised by the Contemporary Art Society, 'Catalogue of the Greater Portion of a Collection of Modern English Paintings, Water Colours, Drawings and Sculpture Belonging to W. A. Evill', March 1955, cat. no.104 (as 'The Potteries');London, The Home of Wilfrid Evill, organised by the Contemporary Art Society, 'Pictures, Drawings, Water Colours and Sculpture', April - May 1961, (part IV, section 4) cat. no.7 (as 'Scene in The Potteries');
Brighton, Brighton Art Gallery, 'The Wilfrid Evill Memorial Exhibition', June - August 1965, cat. no.270;
Chichester, Pallant House Gallery, 'Julian Trevelyan: The Artist and his World', 6 October 2018 - 10 February 2019