Award 2023

Award features ten UK-based artists who have created new work for the British Ceramics Biennial 2023. These artists were selected by an expert panel for their bold and compelling proposals.  

The Award 2023 artists are all working with clay in thought-provoking ways, with exceptional levels of skill and technique. From immersive sound installations to large-scale sculptural works and figurative forms, they are using this extraordinary material to explore a range of topics. These include the rave history of Stoke-on-Trent, a changing urban skyline, mental health, and the impact of sonar pollution on deep-diving whale species.  

The artist that most impresses the selection panel with the excellence, innovation and creative ambition of their installation will receive a prize of £10,000 and an invitation to exhibit at the next Biennial.  

The British Ceramics Biennial is the only event of its kind in the UK, dedicated to celebrating the best work being created in clay and ceramic right now. Situated in Stoke-on-Trent, home to the nation’s globally revered ceramics industry, it also showcases the work that British Ceramics Biennial does with local communities all year round.



Gaia by Rebecca Appleby is her interpretation of the theory that everything is connected. The use of spheres and hemispheres, two of nature’s essential shapes, echo the shape of the Earth and our brains, to remind us that our lives and the universe are intricately interwoven.


Rock, Paper, Scissors by Ranti Bam is a sculpture with a projected film of the well-known children’s game which explores how hostility and disagreement can be transformed, providing the opportunity for play, relief, and celebration. 


Sequenced Ceramics by artistic duo Copper Sounds is an intimate sonic installation in which ceramics are played by mechanical beaters, resulting in hypnotic sonic patterns that flow in and out of each other


OUTAGE by Rebecca Griffiths imagines a future landscape in which remnants of the nuclear power industry have been dredged from the North Sea.  Inspired by the real impact of nuclear megastructures on our delicate coastal environment.


Looking North by Dan Kelly is a series of pots represents a deeply personal view of London, a changing city, where Dan was born, grew up and lives and work today.  Their surfaces inspired by the restless and relentless city, always changing, and offering new temporary views.


Beyond Repair by Elspeth Owen addresses the fragility of clay and our desire to mend it when it breaks.  She presents a line of small hand- formed bowls fired at a low temperature. These are open to the elements and will disintegrate over the course of the Biennial.


Mad in Stoke by Carrie Reichardt is a 1969 Ford Zodiac car covered in mosaic tiles inspired by Stoke-on-Trent’s rich and radical nightlife history with a particular focus on Shelley’s nightclub in Longton, home to superstar DJ Sasha.


Sounding Line by Mella Shaw focuses on the overuse of marine sonar which is having a devastating effect on deep-diving whale species that rely on echolocation (a biological sonar used by several animal species). She has created large-scale sculptural forms inspired by the whales’ tiny inner ear bones.


There are devils in my house by Jasmine Simpson is inspired by 16th Century Hellmouth fireplaces which featured ceramic sculptures of little devils. Amidst a mental health crisis, we are asked to face our own demons and address how we can move beyond them.


Boundary End by Nicola Tassie comprises 60 individual thrown ceramic forms tightly arranged together. It questions the ideas of the spaces we inhabit and the boundaries that are enforced on people and communities.  



Award Voices

Award Voices works with Stoke-on-Trent communities to offer personal reflections and alternative interpretations of the work selected for the Award exhibition. British Ceramics Biennial worked with year 7 students from Haywood Academy as part of our Transferer project. The Award Voices interpretation panels are taken from these sessions. While there have been some edits made for clarity, this has been done sparingly to ensure the authenticity of the students’ thoughts and reflections.

Learn more about Transferer.


Award Selection panel

Alun Graves, Senior Curator, Ceramics and Glass 1900 – now at the V&A (chair)

Stephen Dixon, BCB 2021 Award winner, Artist and Professor Emeritus, Manchester School of Art

Dr Guan Lee, Founder of Grymsdyke Farm, Architect and Associate Professor

Jenni Lomax, Curator, Writer and Visual Arts and Education Consultant

Clare Wood, Artistic Director & Chief Executive, British Ceramics Biennial.




The 2023 British Ceramics Biennial has now ended. Thank you to everyone who showed support by visiting, attending events and sharing your experiences on social media.

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