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Reactivating the Post-Industrial Landscape of North Staffordshire and its Associated Histories through Contemporary Art Practice

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2016) Reactivating the Post-Industrial Landscape of North Staffordshire and its Associated Histories through Contemporary Art Practice. In: Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series 2016, 27 January 2016, Owen Harris Lecture Theatre 1, High Wycombe Campus, HP11 2JZ. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

In his Inaugural Professorial public lecture, at Bucks New University, Brownsword discussed his ongoing artistic mediation of the histories of ceramic manufacture in Stoke-on-Trent. The lecture focused upon craft knowledge within industry that remains endangered/unviable for contemporary production, and raised questions surrounding the value of inter-generational skill - as negotiated through his Re-apprenticed project, shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Ceramics Biennial 2015.The lecture elucidated the research journey and context underpinning his practice and Re-apprenticed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Additional Information: Re-Apprenticed examines the complexities of craft and material knowledge retained by a senior generation of ex-artisans from North Staffordshire’s ceramic industry. Deemed outmoded or economically unviable for contemporary ceramic manufacture, there currently exists no apprenticeship system to secure the effective transfer of these skills for the future. The endangered practices of the engraver, flower maker and china painter were the focus of Re-apprenticed, whereby Brownsword archived the transmission and acquisition of knowledge via a direct apprenticeship to these artisans. Through methodologies that intersect experimental archaeology, ethnography and artistic practice, Brownsword’s artistic mediation of what was an intergenerational practice, offered unique insights into ‘hidden’ actions that accrue to meet the demands of each craft. Nuances of embodied knowledge, procedural memory and material preparation, were deconstructed into a range of object and filmic works. Deftness of touch, tool use, pace, timing and repetitive action were made tangible, enabling rare access to each craftsperson’s internalized set of rules and operations. By restaging former artisanal practices, Brownsword also opened up important oral testimony to offer insights into recent transitions in the ceramic industry. These have influenced the critical perspectives of prominent scholars, such as Prof. Ezra Shales writing about marginalised industrial skill in his publication, The Shape of Craft (2018). http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk/display.asp?ISB=9781780238227
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series 2016
Event Location: Owen Harris Lecture Theatre 1, High Wycombe Campus, HP11 2JZ
Event Dates: 27 January 2016
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 13:59
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 13:59
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5691

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