Magdalene Odundo, has spent forty years in education as a maker, researcher, research supervisor, visiting lecturer, external examiner, to various national and international universities.
Odundo’s creative career has been defined by her engagement with clay and ceramics. Clay is the material that she has come to love and is most familiar with. She associates both clay and ceramics with being and being human. She thinks of clay with relation to the history of human beings, of “utu” in Kiswahili. “Throughout our human history, ceramics link our human activities, be they ritual, social, religious and — dare I say — even political. From birth, childhood, marriage, death and afterlife, pottery has existed and affirmed our existence like no other art form.’
Ceramic art is often thought to be the outcome of solitary endeavour by individual practitioners, but over the past decade or so many clay artists have developed more socially engaged practices. This talk considers recent examples of these initiatives, along with their political, educational and aesthetic ambitions. It examines some historical precedents and attempts to weigh up the potential benefits and possible limitations of collaborative and public-facing ways of working.
Tessa Peters is an independent curator and educator. She’s a Senior Lecturer and member of the Ceramics Research Centre-UK, University of Westminster, and an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins.
C J O’Neill 2orks with silhouettes and stories in combination with ceramics – from found objects to 3d printed clay – inspired by people, objects and revealing the value of the others in between. Based in Manchester, and course leader for BA(Hons)Product Design & Craft at Manchester School of Art, O’Neill has presented work in a range of contexts including Your Stories, Guldagergaard, 2016 and Clay Networks, BCB 2019, both site specific, residency-based projects.
Crossing the boundaries of material culture and contemporary ceramic practice in a socially engaged practice, O’Neill offers insights to her process of making with others – through which objects and projects emerge as a result of meaningful connections. Responding to material, people and context – she will demonstrate through her practice, the contribution of the valuable (sometimes unseen) others in the work we do and the people we become.
Continually published since February 1970, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Ceramic Review. To celebrate this milestone, the magazine is hosting a debate about the past, present and future of studio pottery. A panel representing diverse elements within the ceramic community will come together to discuss the impact of studio pottery, the future of the industry, shared concerns and the growing possibilities of contemporary making with clay. Audience participation and questions will be welcome.
Chaired by Duncan Hooson from Central Saint Martins BA Ceramic Design course, the panel will include potter and co-founder of Clay College and Adopt a Potter, Lisa Hammond MBE, curator at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Helen Ritchie, ceramic artist Ingrid Murphy and Tallie Maughan, founder and creative director of open access studio Turning Earth.
Lawrence Epps is an artist working with ceramics in a conceptual way. He has a track record for thoughtful, beautifully executed work involving his audience and disrupting the accepted rules of the gallery experience.
Epps is an award-winning artist who has exhibited in museums, sculpture parks and galleries around the world. Epps will discuss a range of his most recent projects exploring the nature of chance, success and our relationships to objects of value. Working with ‘the low status and dirty material of clay’ in combination with industrial processes such as extrusion and casting, Epps’ installations ‘invite reflections on conformity, desire and acts of acquisition’.
Dr Guan Lee is a lecturer in architecture and co-founder of Grymsdyke Farm. Set in the village Lacey Green in Buckinghamshire, Grymsdyke Farm engages in a wide range of experimental fabrication techniques. Its aim is to design through the essential connections between processes of making and sustainability.
Digital Manual is an ongoing research project which investigates methods of fabrication using different composite materials including clay, exploring new ways of manufacturing architectural components while, in parallel, questioning their technological context in the sphere of social sustainability. At Grymsdyke Farm, projects explore hybrid design and fabrication techniques, both computational and analogue. Context, place and human skill-based techniques are equally important in an increasingly automated design-manufacturing industry.
Christie Brown offers an overview of her many years of figurative ceramic practice in relation to museum collections, including the Freud Museum, the Museum of Childhood, and most recently the Potteries Museum in Stoke, as part of the BCB 2019. An active member of the CRC-UK she will also reflect on their recent symposium Clay Across Cultures, in the context of the exhibition Beyond the Vessel in Istanbul.
Brown is an artist and Emerita Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster. Her work is featured in several private and public collections in Europe and the USA.
Stephen Dixon’s ceramic practice focuses on social and political issues, and takes a variety of narrative and commemorative forms, from printed vessels to sculpture, installation and most recently film.
The presentation will outline the development of Dixon’s creative process across thirty-three years of ceramic practice, as maker, curator and academic at Manchester School of Art, examining the unique potential of ceramics as a material for narrative and commemoration. Recent projects have focused on issues of conflict and explored strategies of collaboration and co-creation to ‘materialise’ the experience of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
Simeon Featherstone develops mixed-scale ceramic artworks in a variety of local settings through his practice, Parasite Ceramics. He also supervises clay activities at MAKE, a new Central Saint Martins’ site working with the local communities of Camden.
Featherstone reflects on his continued ceramic practice and role as creative facilitator of public art projects in the UK. Using clay to make connections between people and their local environment, he explores how different models of practice can support stronger and healthier communities. His recent work with Whitegold in Cornwall, Gunnersbury Park and Museum, and MAKE in King’s Cross has given him new insights into situated practice and ceramics.
Claudia Clare is a potter and radical feminist whose work is informed either by her feminism or her scepticism. She is the author of Subversive Ceramics and ‘too many Facebook updates’.
Claudia will talk about her project – a partnership with Women @the Well – which aims to enhance the public’s understanding of prostitution, help bring about a change in social attitudes, and reform the legal settlement. The talk is an examination of the project to date, asking how and whether its aims are being met, how we know, and what changes, if any, might need to be made.
Sue Pryke is a maker and designer who has been working within the tableware industry for 25 years, collaborating with volume producers and high street retailers, as well as making small scale studio work for independent shops and galleries.
Pryke has a passion for tableware; she works simultaneously across several scales of production, from her own slip-casting practice, to designing for industry giants in the volume tableware industry. She delivers pared back simple forms that are about function and utility, but at the same time imbue familiarity and warmth. Pryke’s style is derived from a mix of traditional British tableware design from experience as a designer at Wedgwood to working with the Scandinavian design company that is Ikea.