Alma Berrow’s pieces find the humour in the “grossness” of everyday life

In a somewhat detective-on-a-case style, Alma carries around a tiny passport-sized notebook and a Muji 0.35 black pen in order to remain inspired: “And I’ve done so for years. I use them to jot down images, portraits, ideas, snippets of conversation, whatever catches me or amuses me.” Often, she’ll work from ideas in her books, she tells It’s Nice That, but mainly she likes to grab a bit of clay and “just start.” She doesn’t mood board or sketch designs like many of her contemporaries, “which is why I think art school never really worked out for me”.

When asked about her favourite piece, she’s unable to give a fair answer, but says that Ifs and Butts, which sold in an all-female Sotheby’s auction, is a piece she’s incredibly proud of. “It is my largest singular piece to date and to sit in an auction next to so many insanely talented artists like Tanning, Riley, Hepworth, Sherman. I mean, it was completely insane!”

Because Alma never studied ceramics, she tells us that she’s learning all the time. “I started in lockdown so I had pretty limited resources. My mum Miranda Berrow, who makes ceramics too, helped me so much but our work and process is very different.” When things went wrong, YouTube and Google became the artist’s “best friends”: “I also called Reg from Clayman suppliers A LOT and he has been a dream.”

Alma Berrow has two shows coming up. Among The Pines opens on 16 September at Flaura and Fauna studios, whilst Cracked is on at Tristan Hoare from 23 September.

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