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Obsolescence and Renewal

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2018) Obsolescence and Renewal. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract or description

Obsolescence and Renewal offers an insight into a body of interconnected works by Neil Brownsword that have evolved over a seven-year period. It reflects upon the ceramic manufacturing histories and aspects of deindustrialisation in Stoke-on-Trent, a ceramic capital that has experienced significant change in recent decades. Through a research process which involves film, the installation of remnants from ceramic production and industrial archaeology, Brownsword explores a critique of globalization and its socio-economic impact on people, place and traditional industry. It examines in particular the complex knowledge systems within ceramic manufacture and their displacement through advanced technology and policies of outsourcing. Brownsword highlights what frequently remain overlooked forms of intelligence within a rapidly disappearing culture of labour, and raises questions surrounding the value of intergenerational skill that has evolved during 300 years of industrialisation.

Brownsword’s recent residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum looked towards reimagining early examples of North Staffordshire Chinoiserie, with a particular fascination for the ‘slippage’ that occurs via this mode of cultural appropriation. Decorative surfaces unique to ceramics production have been digitally extracted from their form via rudimentary scanning technologies that embrace the ‘glitch’ as a means to transform instead of duplicate. The deconstruction of this history has informed the creation of Brownsword’s own pattern book, from which elements have been replicated via traditional modes of production that sustain the practice of marginalised and near redundant industrial craft knowledge.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Obsolescence and Renewal
Event Location: M2 Gallery, 2c Kings Grove, Peckham, London SE15 2NB
Event Dates: 18 November 2018 - 13 January 2019
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 14:58
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:53

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