The fourth British Ceramics Biennial took place on 26 September – 8 November in Stoke-on-Trent.
After making the commitment back in 2009 to 5 years and 3 biennial festivals – the BCB were proud to be back on the historical Spode factory 6 years later for it’s fourth biennial festival.
There were exhibitions specially commissioned to question conventions and highlight issues; Action Sculptor Bruce Mclean’s Set in Stoke responded to the experience of being in Stoke, the working spaces and the materials that he was presented with and the food he both did and did not eat. Stephen Dixon and Johnny Magee’s Resonate was a powerful and thoughtful piece contributing to a Stoke-on-Trent response to the on-going series of events marking the 100th anniversary of World War One.
Encounters nudged our audiences into thinking about pots beyond mantelpiece or plinth through the installations of several artists, offering different ways of looking at, interacting with and understanding contemporary ceramics. The Hub provided visitors, local community groups and schools with many opportunities to get clay under their fingernails with research stations, work benches and artist-led activities.
For the first time ever, we brought our signature exhibition AWARD to the China Hall to sit alongside Fresh. With over 30 artists represented, the shows testified to the talents of both established and emerging ceramicists. The winner of AWARD 2015 was Sam Bakewell for his installation of a pseudo-shamanic hut, Imagination Dead Imagine and received £5000 and a commission for the 2017 British Ceramics Biennial.
The winner of the Fresh 2015 award was Hannah Tounsend for her series of printed vessels: Traversing the Line. Hannah received a one-month residency at Guldagergaard, the international Ceramics Research Centre in Denmark, and an opportunity to exhibit at the next biennial in 2017.