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Plagiarism Personified. GICB International Ceramic Workshop, 2015

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2015) Plagiarism Personified. GICB International Ceramic Workshop, 2015. In: 8th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, 28 April - 2 May 2015, Icheon World Ceramic Centre, Gyeongchungdae-ro 2697 beon-gil, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 17379, Rep. of Korea. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

As winner of the Grand Prize at the 8th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Brownsword was invited to participate in the International Ceramic Workshop that accompanied the event (24 April - 2 May). This was an opportunity to engage a visiting audience with the concepts underpinning his award-winning work 'National Treasure', concerned with the movement of cultural knowledge under capitalist forces.

Positioned in the context of recent decades of globalisation in North Staffordshire and its impact upon traditional industry, the workshop cited the early origins of its ceramic production influenced by imported wares from China during the 17th century. This stemmed from Brownsword’s research at the Wedgwood factory in 2003, where the common misconception that the decline in manufacture in North Staffordshire was due in part to the Chinese’s ability to ‘rip off’ designs and sell these products a fraction of what it cost in the UK. To cite this cyclical shift of knowledge and skill, Brownsword echoed the stylistic plagiarism of the Orient by early Staffordshire potters by directly imitating Chinese archetypes. A tomb guardian – carved out in the negative into blocks of clay and cast in plaster yielded a crude copy of the original source, skewing its historical and cultural significance into a new mode of Chinoiserie.

The workshop was part of a wider program for the GICB through which 22 international artists invited to coordinate public facing events.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: National Treasure (artefact) introduced new critical insights into aspects of skill displacement following the aftermath of decades of deindustrialisation in North Staffordshire’s ceramic sector. It examines shifts in production from the ‘shop floor’ to the factory tourism model, through an innovative combination of live performance, installation, social practice, film and artefact that ‘bring the traditions of the [ceramics] field into a new category of experience’. Brownsword’s parody of this ‘artisan on display’ format, critiques how the parade of ‘indigenous’ artisanal craft from the visitor centre experience, obscures the realities of profit first strategies of mass-automation and global outsourcing. Ex-industry China painters were employed by Brownsword to follow the genre of the romantic ruin commonly depicted in 18th century British ceramics. Painting on the backs of discarded platters found at former historic sites of production, with images that documented Stoke-on-Trent’s post-industrial fallout offered a new perspective to social realism within ceramic practice. By incorporating the dynamics of hired labour, National Treasure offered an innovative method to elevate and disseminate the endangered practices of a rapidly disappearing culture of labour. The work also explored the ethical implications of appropriating people and their skill as a raw material – a subject relatively absent in contemporary ceramic practice.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: 8th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale
Event Location: Icheon World Ceramic Centre, Gyeongchungdae-ro 2697 beon-gil, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 17379, Rep. of Korea
Event Dates: 28 April - 2 May 2015
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 13:53
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 13:53
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5649

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