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FACTORY. Performed at - Ceramic Art London 2018

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2018) FACTORY. Performed at - Ceramic Art London 2018. [Artefact]

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Abstract or description

Dissemination context:
In his performative installation FACTORY, previously shown at Icheon World Ceramic Centre, South Korea (2017), Brownsword raises questions surrounding the value of inter-generational industrial craft practices. China flower-making is one of the few methods of mass-production that relies completely upon the dexterity of the hand, and with changing fashion and the impact of globalisation, this industry has all but disappeared. Under Brownsword’s instruction, flower maker Rita Floyd re-stages her former working practices, but then casually discards whatever she makes. The deposit of waste that accrues becomes a metaphor for a marginalized intangible cultural heritage that remains increasingly in danger of being lost. FACTORY was invited to be shown at Ceramic Art London, an annual event which celebrates the breadth and diversity of contemporary ceramic practice.

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’. 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: FACTORY
Event Location: Central Saint Martins, King's Cross, London
Event Dates: 22-25 March 2018
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 09:52
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:54

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