The Career of an Artist (In-person)

Venue details
All Saints Church Hall, ST1 3HH
Additional information

Free on-site parking, entrance is off Leek Road.

Join us for an insightful and candid panel discussion about the realities of being a contemporary artist. This in-person discussion will take place in the All Saints Church Hall.


The Career of an Artist

Chaired by artist, Professor and curator Clare Twomey, this fascinating discussion will draw out honest perspectives of navigating a career as an artist across acclaimed early, mid and established ceramic artists. The panel will include artist and designer Bisila Noha, leading ceramic artist Martin Smith and former Fresh Talent Resident Artist Pam Su. 

This in-person discussion will unearth how each of the artists considers balancing practice with getting to grips with the practical necessities of the arts industry and responding to critical context of contemporary practice. This can be a complex and sometimes mysterious journey and this discussion hopes to shed some light and sharing in conversation.


This talk is supported by Potterycrafts.



This event is for

  • Artists and creatives at all stages of their career (students, early/mid and established)
  • Those interested in hearing from others about their journey as an artist
  • Creatives wanting to network with other artists and creative people
  • Creative people who are uncertain if a career as an artist is for them
  • Early career artists wanting perspective on the career of a contemporary artist



Panel Discussion Chair


Clare Twomey

Clare Twomey is a British artist and a Professor at the University of Westminster. She works with clay in large-scale installations, sculpture and site-specific works. Over the past 10 years, she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Clare Twomey’s installations use both social and historical context as their point of departure. Often they only exist within these frameworks. A number of her installations disappear or perish in the course of the exhibition period as part of the work. Often the onlooker’s mode of behaviour is conceptually included in Twomey’s works. An example of this was her artwork Conscience/Consciousness (2003). In this work, Twomey covered the floor of the gallery with very thin ceramic tiles which broke when trodden on.

Clare Twomey is actively involved in critical research in the area of the applied arts, including writing, curating and making. She has developed work, which expands the fields’ knowledge of larger-scale installation works.

Visit Clare’s website.



Panel Members


Bisila Noha

Bisila Noha is a Spanish-Equatoguinean ceramic artist based in London. With her work she aims to challenge Western views on art and craft; to question what we understand as productive and worthy in capitalist societies; and to reflect upon the idea of home and oneness pulling from personal experiences in different pottery communities. 

Her work extends from wheel-thrown pieces with the distinctive addition of marbled slip decoration to create eye-catching abstract landscapes. She also mixes throwing, coiling and sculpting into sculptural pieces which connect Bisila to her roots. She feels connected to the makers that precede her and our past.

With a background in Translation and International Relations, Bisila is a passionate feminist activist. She leads the London LGBTQ+ Community Centre and co-directs the arts and activism organisation Lon-art Creative. Lastly, she is part of Design Can, a campaign aiming to shift the power balance in the creative industry to be more inclusive and representative.

Visit Bisila’s website.


Martin Smith 

Martin Smith is a key figure in British ceramics. He trained at Bristol Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, and sees himself as an artist, designing his work with the mindset of an architect and meticulously planning each piece.

Since the start of his career in the late 1970s, Smith exhibited internationally and examples of his work are found in many public collections worldwide. A major retrospective was held at the Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, in 1996. In 2001 he made Wavelength, a site-specific work for Tate St. Ives. He is also known for his multi-disciplinary approach to design and site-specific furniture. 

Previously Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, a position he held for 16 years, Smith has recently taken on a new role as Senior Research Fellow at the RCA, where he is researching the ‘Potential of the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’. He has recently designed the domestic-style gallery space for the Anthony Shaw Collection in York Art Gallery as well as continuing to explore his work in the field of ceramics.

Visit Martin’s website.


Pam Su 

Pam Su is an American artist working in sculptural ceramics based in London. She draws from her background in film studies and attempts to harness mood, tone, atmosphere into static forms occupying space. With that, much of her work is an interplay between boundaries, tensions, and dichotomies through colour, line, and texture. More importantly, through her work, she evokes the fine line between attraction and repulsion, beauty and ugliness, the anomalous and defined. Pam has exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was a BCB Fresh exhibitor in 2019 and after winning the Fresh Talent Resident artist award hosted by Staffordshire University she exhibited the new work she produced during her residency at BCB 2021.

Visit Pam’s website.




  • Fully wheelchair accessible
  • Toilets available on the ground floor
  • There is a portable Loop available on request

If there is anything we can do to support your participation in the event, please get in touch with us: