People and Place Commission 2023

That Drop by Emilie Taylor 

Informed by the development of the acid house scene in North Staffordshire in the early 90s, after the decline of the industry. That Drop considers substitute spaces for people to come together and outpour collective energy. Emilie has worked with local people and Arts organisations using physical movement to create scenes of personal freedom, joy and transcendence within the urban landscape of Stoke-on-Trent. 

Physically inspired by the tall chimneys of bottle kilns Emilie’s large-scale hand-built pots are surrounded by sgraffito vistas. Surfaces capture people acting out in the community, and theatrical stories from past and present. Emilie continues to be inspired by Joy Schaverien’s ideas about framed space and how communities need spaces set apart to come together and explore collective energy in an embodied way, whether that be through faith, folk tradition or dance music.



About the People and Place Commission

The People and Place Commission seeks to celebrate the British Ceramics Biennial’s location in the UK’s capital of ceramics, Stoke-on-Trent. This inaugural commission focuses on working with contemporary UK-based artists interested in using the heritage of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire as creative stimuli. Rooted in place and in the field of contemporary ceramics, it was important for both communities in Staffordshire and nationally to join and make this important commissioning decision. People and Place provided British Ceramics Biennial with the opportunity to work with our communities to select the commissioned artist. Artists were shortlisted by the most popular vote amongst panel members and using votes made by the panel and a final interview process the final decision was made. 


People and Place brought together leading curators, directors of arts organisations, talented potters and creatives, the British Ceramics Biennial Advisory Network and Stoke-on-Trent residents who have participated in previous British Ceramics Biennial programmes. Using their significant perspective, they each placed a vote, commented on and ultimately decided whose work they wished to see at British Ceramics Biennial 2023. 



Panel Members

  • Caroline Butterwick
  • Andrew Colclough
  • Monica Cru-Hall
  • Rae Downey
  • Rhiannon Ewing-James
  • Steven Harding
  • Catherine Hemelryk
  • Zeba Imam
  • Ben Miller
  • Jo Mills
  • Helen Morgan
  • Basil Olton
  • Katy West
  • Clare Wood




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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