Bucks professor exhibits at international competition

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Date: 26th Jun 2018

Work by Neil Brownsword, Professor in Ceramics at Buckinghamshire New University, has been selected to represent the UK at a well-respected exhibition in Italy.

The one-off display tells a story of contemporary ceramic sculpture through 55 specially-selected pieces from around the world.

It is at the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, near Bologna, from 30 June - 7 October and marks the 80th anniversary of the Faenza Prize, an international ceramic award.

Prof Brownsword’s work is a mixed media installation of film, found object and ceramic, selected from his solo exhibition, Factory, which was displayed in South Korea last year.

The widely-displayed artist said: “It is a privilege to be selected by such renowned judges in the field and to be invited to show alongside diverse and well-respected international artists. 


“My work deals with displaced industrial craft knowledge from North Staffordshire’s ceramics industry, which is held by a senior generation but is in danger of being lost as there remain no mechanisms to pass on such knowledge.

“The objects are composed of residues of discarded labour from a former china flower maker, Rita Floyd, who I have worked with for a number of years.”

Prof Brownsword examines ‘hidden procedures’ associated with such knowhow and highlights marginalised ceramic practices he believes are now in danger of being lost and which should be preserved.

Professor Neil Brownsword
He has highlighted endangered forms of industrial craft around the ceramics industry of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent for more than 20 years.

Prof Brownsword creates installations using ceramics, film and performance taking the ceramics industry of The Potteries in his native Staffordshire as his primary subject, observing its people and production systems.

He has sought to challenge the marginalisation of craft skill in industrial contexts, and to highlight the danger of specialist knowledge being lost.

His accolades include the Grand Prize at the 2015 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, in South Korea.

In February, Prof Brownsword completed a six-month residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum with a display called Pattern Book, tying in with a show of 18th and early 19th century North Staffordshire ceramics and pattern books.

It was part of Prof Brownsword’s shortlisted work for The Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, with BBC Radio 4, the V&A and the Crafts Council, celebrating the most innovative and exciting craft makers in the UK, and coinciding with the programme’s 70th anniversary.

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