NB: Well, I think, again, just that marriage of graphic and form, for me there's got to be something there in the graphics to be on the form in the first place. But now just looking, and maybe I'm just coming from my own prejudice with a particular kind of aesthetic of mine, but just the style of drawing [is] like it doesn't have any kind of impact or anything, it doesn't strike any kind of chords at all. You look at paintings or drawings of the same period and maybe later, and there for a graphic quality, I will be prejudiced. Something like a Roger Hilton drawing or a painting by Cy Twombly. I shouldn't dismiss these things because they are representative of that period in time, but for them to have the status that they carry now, I don't know. I suppose it's more the kind of influence they had on the movement, rather than the objects themselves, which carries an impact for me. And especially, I suppose, going back to the Leach thing, the truth to material. Now that does strike a chord, and it does have a relevance with what I do. I don't go digging my clay down in Bradwell Woods or anything, but just that letting the clay do its work rather than the control of the maker. So, I suppose, I think it was Cardew who reflected that point back, wasn't it, to have some truth in the material.
MP: Does this have any resonances with the things you were talking about earlier, like the medieval work or the earlier slipware things?
NB: Nothing, none at all.
MP: Why do you think that is?
NB: Because of the lack of vigour, because maybe it was working towards a standard that Bernard envisaged that brought this generation of objects into being , that it's got to have a certain flow. [video clip starts] You go back to some of those medieval pots upstairs and it's the cack-handedness that brings me to them. It's the rawness. There is that immediacy with clay which is not here, and these objects ... I'm not saying that everything made in clay has to have that raw quality, but it's just some things are, some things have got a certain life haven't they? You It's difficult to articulate in words what that quality is, but you know you can stand in front of something for about an hour and still be fascinated by it. And I can go back, every time I come here I go back to mainly the same objects upstairs, because they offer something new to me. And just maybe looking at the back of something, some of those crudely pressed Staffordshire figurines, the backs are fascinating. Just the hand of the maker, the thumb print in the back of that clay. Now this is, for me, devoid of that. [video clip ends] Yes, it's got throwing lines in, but it doesn't really speak of any ... it could have been by ten people working within that generation of potters. It didn't matter whether it be a Cardew or whatever, it still doesn't, no.
You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.