Robert Dawson’s Trompe L’œil Ceramic Works

The creative practice of London-based artist Robert Dawson centers around disrupting the perspective of the viewer. Dawson’s abstract work, titled ‘Aesthetic Sabotage’, uses conventional materials like clay and canvas in unconventional ways, to create works where not all is as it seems.

Dawson’s patterned clay artworks draw upon familiar motifs such as the glass stained windows of churches, Chinese dinner plate designs, and ceramic tile patterns, as well as 17th-century English artworks. His designs experiment with repetition and abstraction of traditional decorative motifs, creating artworks with slightly odd perspectives that are often visually deceptive. Examples of this include his artwork ‘You Know It’s Gonna Be Alright’, a two-dimensional print on ceramic tiles that appears as a three-dimensional space. His artwork ‘Spin’, contains six dishes with Blue Willow pottery designs, that are designed in such a way that they appear blurred, as if they are spinning in motion. Thirdly, ‘In Perspective Willow 1’ is a Bone china porcelain plate on which a picture of a plate has been printed. Whilst the physical plate stands upright, the plate that has been printed upon it appears to lay flat—by shifting the vanishing point of the print, Dawson completes a beautiful Blue Willow trompe l’œil.


‘You Know It’s Gonna Be Alright’, print on ceramic tile. Image © Robert Dawson


‘Spin’, print on Bone China. Image © Robert Dawson


‘170306’, clay on canvas. Image © Robert Dawson


‘160619’, clay and chalk on canvas. Image © Robert Dawson


‘161118’ triptych, clay on canvas. Image © Robert Dawson


‘In Perspective Willow 1’, print on Bone China. Image © Robert Dawson


‘Untitled’, ceramic, print and acrylic on hardboard. Image © Robert Dawson


‘170328’, clay, fabric printing pigment and emulsion on canvas. Image © Robert Dawson


‘170520’, clay and fabric printing pigment on canvas. Image © Robert Dawson