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FACTORY. Exhibited in - Woman’s Hour Craft Prize (touring exhibition)

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2017) FACTORY. Exhibited in - Woman’s Hour Craft Prize (touring exhibition). [Artefact]

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Image (FACTORY with Rita Floyd. Image courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation)
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Image (FACTORY with Rita Floyd. Image courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation)
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Image (FACTORY with Rita Floyd. Image courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation)
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Image (FACTORY with Rita Floyd. Image courtesy of Korea Ceramic Foundation)
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Abstract or description

Dissemination context:
FACTORY was shortlisted as one of twelve entries out of 1500 applicants for the inaugural Woman’s Hour Craft Prize – a BBC, Crafts Council and V&A initiative which celebrates the most innovative contributions to craft practice in the last five years. It consisted of a strand of work developed out of Brownsword’s solo exhibition FACTORY at Icheon World Ceramic Centre, South Korea (22/04- 28/05/17), which comprised of two work station’s and a low-level plinth onto which an accumulation of discarded bone-china flowers were deposited. These resulted from Brownsword’s intervention into ex-industry artisan Rita Floyd’s craft, whereby he instructed every flower she made to be discarded - drawing attention to the rapid displacement of intangible heritage in North Staffordshire. During its tour FACTORY was sometimes activated by Floyd and her last remaining apprentice Stacey Wright, through a series of live performances in the gallery space.

Exhibition text:
'Neil Brownsword creates installations using ceramics, film and performance. His work takes the ceramics industry of his native Staffordshire as its primary subject, observing its people and production systems. He has sought to challenge the marginalisation of craft skill in industrial contexts, and to highlight the danger of specialist knowledge being lost. Recent work has been made in collaboration with former industry artisans, revealing their people-embodied skills and exploring the value of the industry's intangible cultural heritage. Brownsword was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2015 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, South Korea'.

See: https://vanda-production-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/2017/09/05/09/57/32/a5a71f90-8062-415c-8081-4bf274ac39c7/News_Release_WHCP_exhibition_FINAL.pdf

FACTORY was featured on BBC Front Row (9 /9/2017) BBC Radio 4, Front Row http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b092jw1m 9 September 2017, and BBC Radio 4, Womans Hour https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08xxdsl 21 July 2017

Tour details:
Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, 7 September 2017 - 5 February 2018. (V&A visitor figures 146957) https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/womans-hour-craft-prize; The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF. 12 Mar - Sat 7 Apr 2018 https://theforumnorwich.co.uk/whatson/2018-03-28/Makers'%20Month%20Exhibitions%202018/Woman’s%20Hour%20Craft%20Prize%20Exhibition; Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, Mottisfont, National Trust, Nr Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP. 25 April - 24 June 2018 https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/features/the-womans-hour-craft-prize-at-mottisfont; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol, BS8 1RL. 7 July 2018 - 02 September 2018 https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/bbc-womans-hour-craft-prize/; Rheged Centre, Redhills, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0DQ. 14 September - 28 October 2018. https://www.rheged.com/event/womans-hour-craft-prize/; Chester Visual Arts The Old Library, Northgate Street, Chester CH1 2EF. 30 November 2018 – 16 March 2019 https://www.chestervisualarts.org.uk/womans-hour-craft-prize-exhibition/; The Light House, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, Scotland G1 3NU. 30 Mar – 27 May 2019 http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/visit/exhibition/womans-hour-craft-prize

Other exhibitors included - Laura Ellen Bacon, Alison Britton, Lin Cheung, Phoebe Cummings, Caren Hartley, Peter Marigold, Celia Pym, Romillly Saumarez Smith, Andrea Walsh, Emma Woffenden and Laura Youngson Coll.

Item Type: Artefact
Additional Information: From exhibition catalogue: Brownsword, N., Shales, E., Strangleman, T., FACTORY, Neil Brownsword, Icheon World Ceramic Centre, 2017. p.6 FACTORY is a performative installation that reflects upon notions of place, skill, people and material objects left behind following the process of industrial change. In Stoke-on-Trent, global outsourcing together with high yield production technologies, have substituted many of the people embodied skills that once sustained company leadership. Like many hand skills in the ceramic industry, dexterity is transmitted from generation to generation. As the tertiary or service sector has largely replaced traditional manufacturing, there now exists a significant skills gap, and with few apprenticeships a danger of specialist knowledge disappearing. Following the legacy of William Morris and the Arts and Craft Movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, much attention has been paid to the preservation of vernacular crafts. Since these neo-traditionalists remained diametrically opposed to industrialisation, they also marginalised the know-how of those employed in factories, albeit sometimes unintentionally. In 2003 UNESCO implemented a convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. 171 countries have now endorsed this convention, effectively making Intangible Heritage part of their cultural policy, but this value system remains alien to the UK. ‘Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving craft objects - no matter how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be - but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of all kinds, and to transmit their skills and knowledge to others’. 1 FACTORY re-evaluates explicit systems of know-how, specific to North Staffordshire’s ceramic industry….By bringing contrasting modes of ceramic manufacture into the gallery space, the live transmission of these actions enables rare access to haptic and material knowledge. They will work, and not be celebrated as nostalgic demonstrators of pure skill constructed for heritage tourism. To accentuate these overlooked forms of intelligence, Neil Brownsword adopts numerous strategies that disrupt prescriptive routines of skill cultivated by instruction. Insights that stem from his own employment history at the Wedgwood factory, inform the re-choreography of these complex rules to expose tacit procedures that include nuances of preparation and quality control.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Woman’s Hour Craft Prize
Event Location: Victoria and Albert Museum (UK touring 2019)
Event Dates: 7 September 2017 – 5 February 2018 (UK touring)
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 09:50
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 09:50
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5300

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