British Ceramics Biennial returns to Stoke-on-Trent (11 September to 17 October), with a vibrant five-week festival of new artist commissions, exhibitions and hands-on events that celebrate the life, character and creativity that ceramics bring to the city.
The post-industrial Spode factory site in the heart of Stoke Town will be transformed and animated by the UK’s leading ceramic artists and emerging talents, many of them taking inspiration from the city’s industrial heritage and transforming tradition in a contemporary way. For the first time BCB will also curate an online programme of films, tours and events for those unable to visit in person. Festival highlights include:
- BCB’s headline exhibition AWARD – taking centre stage in the Spode China Hall, this snapshot of the contemporary ceramics scene sees 10 of the UK’s most innovative ceramic artists competing for a £5,000 prize.
- Stoke Makes Plates – a large-scale installation of 250 plates designed by 120 Stoke-on-Trent residents – from care home residents to people in addiction recovery – commissioned artists and local ceramics manufacturers and inspired by Stoke’s historic high-street.
- History at the Dinner Table – US-based writer and artist Jacqueline Bishop reinterprets the brightly coloured bone china decorative plates used symbolically in Caribbean homes and delves into how they hid a violent history of slavery and colonialism by European countries.
- New commission from Vicky Lindo and Bill Brookes exploring the menstrual cycle and culminating in two large-scale lioness figures accompanied by other pots and vessels
- Major exhibitions in the city’s cultural quarter of Hanley including Neil Brownsword’s solo show at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, which delves into North Staffordshire’s early ceramic industrialisation, and an exhibition at Airspace Gallery exploring clay’s zeitgeist moment.
- Paul Scott’s new Cumbrian Blue(s) tea set made by Spode for Fortnum & Mason
- Interventions in the China Hall inspired by the Wedgwood anti-slavery medallion and led by local young people in collaboration with V&A Wedgwood Collection
- Experimental clay extrusion from Tavs Jorgensen and Sonny Lee Lightfoot
- Hands-on programme in BCB’s science lab inspiring visitors to get involved by making and playing with clay – from exploring traditional techniques to experimenting with contemporary processes
To find out more about the festival please visit: https://www.britishceramicsbiennial.com/festival/bcb2021/
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