Virgin and Child - Philip Eglin

Virgin and Child, Philip Eglin, 2001. Image © John Hammond

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Ceramics: handbuilt
Clay, glaze
H820mm x W270mm x D270mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Place Trained
Royal College of Art, London, MA Ceramics & Glass, 1983-1986; Staffordshire Polytechnic, 1979-82
Newcastle-under-Lyme, England
Winner, Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Ceramics, 1996; Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, 1989


This piece is part of a series of Virgins influenced by 13th- and 14th-century religious woodcarvings and English folk ceramics. The figure is a fusion of high art and popular culture. Body parts are cast from detritus such as plastic beach bottles, discarded milk cartons and fast food containers.

Philip Eglin has likened his intermingling of cultural icons, ephemeral images, symbols of consumer culture and handwritten scripts to channel hopping.

The Crafts Council endeavours to support and expose developments in makers’ careers by continued acquisition. Virgin and Child was acquired ten years after another of his pieces, Venus et Amor.

Most recently, Virgin and Child featured in the 2009 exhibition ‘Three by One’, developed by The Crafts Council in partnership with the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Professor Stephen Dixon

“This piece came into the Collection during my time as Advisor to the Purchasing Committee (what a great job - the adrenalin rush of collecting without the overdraft!). I’ve been in awe of Phil’s virtuoso modelling skills since student days at the RCA, and Madonna and Child combines all the elements of a signature Eglin piece; big, brash and ballsy, yet containing elements of great delicacy, subtlety and pathos. Phil’s provocative re-workings of religious iconography, here fuelled by a research residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum, have gained sharper focus in recent years, and now manifest a current obsession with popes and prostitutes.”

Professor Stephen Dixon

Professor Stephen Dixon, Ceramist. Crafts Council Maker Trustee, Crafts Council Acquisition Advisor 1999-2001 & 2011.

From the Archive

Image from catalogue for the 'Three by One' exhibition developed by The Crafts Council together with the Crafts Study Centre and the British Council. Image © Edward Park

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