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Place and Practices

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2017) Place and Practices. [Show/Exhibition]

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1. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Rita Floyd 2017.jpg - Supplemental Material
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2. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Rita Floyd.jpg - Supplemental Material
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3. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Rita Floyd.jpg - Supplemental Material
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4. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Rita Floyd.jpg - Supplemental Material
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5. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Paul Holdway.jpg - Supplemental Material
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6. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Paul Holdway.jpg - Supplemental Material
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7. Neil Brownsword, Factory with James Adams .JPG - Supplemental Material
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8. Neil Brownsword, Factory with Anthony Challinor.jpg - Supplemental Material
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9. Neil Brownsword National Treasure .JPG - Supplemental Material
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11. Neil Brownsword. Embodied Matter.jpg - Supplemental Material
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12. Neil Brownsword. Mould.jpg - Supplemental Material
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14. Oh Hyangjong - Embodied Matter. .jpg - Supplemental Material
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15. Lee Kanghyo - performance.jpg - Supplemental Material
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16. Juree Kim. Evanescent Landscape. Falcon Pottery.jpg - Supplemental Material
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17. Neil Brownsword, Factory. Wedgwood Museum .JPG - Supplemental Material
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18. Juree Kim. Place and Practices, Wedgwood Museum.JPG - Supplemental Material
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Abstract or description

This exhibition was curated by Neil Brownsword for the 2019 British Ceramics Biennial as part of the UK/Korea 2017/2018 exchange - https://www.britishcouncil.kr/en/uk-korea-2017-18. It featured 4 works by Brownsword - Factory (2017), National Treasure (2014), Embodied Matter (2017), Mould (2017); 2 works by Juree Kim, 1 work by oH Hyangjong, 1 work by Lee Kanghyo.

Details from brochure:
Throughout history ceramics have played an important role in the phenomenon of cultural transfer. For centuries China, Korea and Japan have influenced each other’s aesthetics, practices and technologies. Subsequent trade with the West, and the imitation and assimilation of Oriental styles in the late 17th and 18th centuries greatly influenced the development of new ceramic traditions in Europe that were to gain historical dominance.

The British Ceramics Biennial 2017 sees a continuation of this cycle of exchange, through the site orientated residency Place and Practices, where artists Neil Brownsword (UK), Juree Kim (KR) and Oh Hyanjong (KR) present a cross-cultural response to themes of materiality, place and tradition. The project extends each artists’ ongoing investigations into architectural heritage, traditional craft, and the social and political histories of place and labour.

FACTORY. Neil Brownsword
Neil Brownsword examines inter-relationships between the past and present, through ‘reclaiming’ the former Spode Factory as a site of ceramic production. In his performative installation FACTORY, recently exhibited at the Korea Ceramics Foundation, Brownsword ‘re-orchestrates’ the specialist knowledge of former ceramic industry artisans, to highlight marginalised practices now in danger of being lost. South Korea’s safeguarding of intangible heritage, associated with its own ceramic history has ensured that associated skills are maintained for future generations. Brownsword presents insights into tacit knowledge from factory production in North Staffordshire, that is worthy of comparable status and preservation.

Embodied Matter. Neil Brownsword and Oh Hyangjong
In collaboration with Valentine Clays and Onggi trained potter Oh Hyangjong, Neil Brownsword arrests a range of intermediary forms that derive from mechanical and manual methods of processing raw clay. These culturally diverse rhythms of labour - from foot wedging to filter press cake, retain within their fabric nonchalant actions and bodily repetitions that occupy territory between raw geology and the crafted object. During the opening week of the biennial Oh Hyangjong will work live in the UK/Korea Exchange exhibition space providing a rare opportunity where the distinct traditions of South Korea and North Staffordshire collide.

Evanescent Landscape: Falcon Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent. Juree Kim
Juree Kim’s residency in Stoke-on-Trent has extended her explorations into architectural heritage and issues surrounding urban regeneration. Kim has engaged with numerous regional sites of historic ceramic production that remain ‘invisible’ due to disuse and decay. Painstaking scale reproductions of these buildings in raw clay, will be ‘activated’ in a performance on the opening evening of the Biennial. These destructive gestures return hours of meticulous craft back into a pulp of raw material, questioning issues surrounding the value of built heritage and its preservation.

Opening Performance – Kanghyo Lee
Internationally renowned Korean ceramic artist Kanghyo Lee will open this year’s Biennial with a live performance, that reinterprets the Korean traditions of Buncheong and Onggi ceramics. Lees work can be found in numerous collections around the world that include the Art Institute of Chicago; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and more.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: Place and Practices also included an expanded iteration of Factory in collaboration with former ceramics industry artisans. 'Neil Brownsword examines inter-relationships between the past and present, through ‘reclaiming’ the former Spode Factory as a site of ceramic production. In his performative installation FACTORY, recently exhibited at the Korea Ceramics Foundation, Brownsword ‘re-orchestrates’ the specialist knowledge of former ceramic industry artisans, to highlight marginalised practices now in danger of being lost. South Korea’s safeguarding of intangible heritage, associated with its own ceramic history has ensured that associated skills are maintained for future generations. Brownsword presents insights into tacit knowledge from factory production in North Staffordshire, that is worthy of comparable status and preservation. Rita Floyd China flower making is one of the few methods of mass production that relies completely upon the dexterity of the hand. With changing fashion and the impact of globalisation, this industry in Stoke- on-Trent has all but disappeared, with Rita Floyd being amongst the last of a generation of artisans who retain this skill. Throughout the FACTORY performance, Rita re-enacts her former working practices, providing an intimate space for the audience to witness the rhythmic intricacies of touch evident in her craft. Yet this point of passive spectatorial consumption is immediately disrupted by Brownsword’s simple instruction for Rita to discard whatever she makes. The linear deposit of waste forms that gradually accrues in the gallery space, becomes a provocative metaphor for the failure to protect an important aspect of intangible heritage. James Adams James Adams was employed as a modeller and mould-maker at numerous factories including Wedgwood, where he trained alongside Brownsword in the late 1980’s. Plaster moulds revolutionized the industrialisation of ceramics in Britain in the 18th century, and to this day continue to be the ‘tools’ for mass production. As a regenerative gesture, Adams re-moulds and repairs materials and objects found discarded at the former Spode factory, using methods which digital technology has largely replaced. Paul Holdway For over forty years Paul Holdway worked as a master engraver at the former Spode factory until its closure in 2008. Copper plate engraving for ceramic print remains a process which is very rarely used today in the industry, and Holdway’s knowledge of its history and practice is unsurpassed. He has researched and successfully reproduced methods developed by early 18th century pioneers of ceramic print for mass production, such as ‘glue bat printing’ and ‘pluck and dust’. During FACTORY, Holdway will tissue transfer print from a copper plate specially commissioned by Brownsword which cites historic precedents developed through this early technology. Anthony Challiner Since the age of 15 Anthony Challiner has worked as a china painter at numerous factories that include the likes of Royal Doulton and Spode. He is amongst the last of a generation of china painters in Stoke-on-Trent, whose profession has gradually been displaced by the changing tide of fashion, and by ceramic print technologies for mass production. Throughout FACTORY Challiner will continue the tradition of portraying picturesque decay, evident in many examples of 18th century English ceramics. Yet the ruins that grace the back of discarded plates salvaged from Challiner’s former place of work, are not the archetypal scenes from the Grand Tour, but those which document aspects of industrial transition in North Staffordshire.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Place and Practices
Event Location: China Hall, Old Spode Works, Kingsway, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1JH
Event Dates: 23 September - 5 November 2017
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 10:51
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 10:51
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5301

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