The Decolonisation of Ceramics and Textiles (Online)

Venue details
Online via Zoom

This panel discussion is a British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) and British Textile Biennial (BTB) partner event. Curator and artist Basil Olton will Chair this rich discussion with ceramics and textile artists Jacqueline Bishop, Thierry Oussou and Masimba Hwati.

The topic of discussion is the decolonisation of textile and ceramics, working from the perspective of each artist’s research and artistic practice using both textile and ceramics in telling powerful stories, revealing hidden histories in the legacies of colonialism and challenge the visibility of diasporic artists.


The Decolonisation of Ceramics and Textiles

Sharing the post-industrial heritages of pottery and textiles, both powerhouses of industrialisation, wealth and subjugation, the Decolonisation of Ceramics and Textiles panel discussion will explore the institutional memory and connections to colonialism and slavery and how any perceived trauma affects the working practices and ideas of contemporary ceramics and textiles. Exploring the colonial histories of both textiles and ceramics produced in the UK in a national and international arena is intrinsic to an understanding of both organisations, whether through examining postcolonial themes by re-appropriating archives and objects and presenting them in new contexts or through individual and collective histories and lived experiences.


Thoughts and ideas will focus on understanding the mechanisms of a colonialist construct and recognise the heterogeneous nature of contemporary ceramics and textiles practice.

  • How is the power and perception of colonialism embedded in ceramics and textiles practice? What is the colonisation of ceramics?
  • What are the strategies, lines of enquiry and systems of knowledge to re-envision modes of representation and decolonise the Eurocentric narrative

Through interdisciplinary practice and discussion, this panel will seek to pose questions for practical possibilities for institutional change through artistic intervention. 


This talk is supported by Potterycrafts as a partner event between British Ceramics Biennial and British Textile Biennial.



This event is for artists who

  • Are interested in interrogating the power and perception of colonialism in ceramics and textiles practice
  • Are curious about different strategies that the panel consider important in decolonising the Eurocentric narrative of ceramics and textiles practice.  
  • Want to learn more about artistic approaches to decolonising contemporary ceramics and textiles practice
  • Are at all stages of their career (students, early/mid and established)
  • Are interested in meeting with other artists interested in a similar subject
  • Want to learn and gain perspective on colonisation in the ceramics and textiles sector and practice



Panel members  

Jacqueline Bishop 

Masimba Hwati

Thierry Oussou



Online Access

  • We will enable captions for anyone to access during the event and download them after  
  • We will record this event so you can re-watch it
  • The recording will be emailed to you after the event

If there is anything we can do to support your participation in the event, please email discuss what we can put in place for you.



How to book

This event is being hosted by British Textile Biennial. Please book your free ticket via their Eventbrite.