Winner of the prestigious 2015 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale in Korea, Staffordshire-based artist Neil Brownsword returned to the country once again earlier this year to work with a group of local Korean artists and skilled craftspeople from Stoke-on-Trent. The result of the residency was Factory: a performative installation originally presented at GICB 2017, which reflects on the value and relevance of the increasingly endangered heritage, skills and artisanal practices that supported ceramic production in The Potteries for over 300 years, in contrast with South Korea – a country that has taken great measures to preserve its own ceramic history and traditions for future generations.
For BCB 2017, Bronwsword will re-present Factory in Stoke-on-Trent; ‘reclaiming’ the former Spode Factory (1774 – 2008) as a site of ceramic production, and providing insights into the precious tacit knowledge tied up in North Staffordshire’s disappearing past; a history not only worth fighting to protect but also incorporating into our ongoing present.
As part of Bronwsword’s residency he worked closely with Korean ceramicist Juree Kim, who subsequently spent time in Stoke-on-Trent developing her new performance-based piece, Evanescent Landscape, for BCB 2017. Both Bronwsword and Kim will also present work at the World of Wedgwood as part of BCB 2017, responding to objects from the museum’s collection.