In 2017, we were delighted to present the fifth British Ceramics Biennial.
At the heart of the programme sat our two signature shows AWARD and FRESH, both growing in stature and significance they provide a critical opportunity – a platform for new, emerging and established artists to set out their work, ideas and accomplishments in the extraordinary China Hall on the former Spode factory site.
Four major co-commissioned works developed over the two years tapped into Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic heritage and the centrality of clay as the critical DNA of the people and place, reasserting its future identity in a global context. Ian McIntyre’s Brown Betty: An Everyday Archetype and Keith Harrison’s Knowledge is Power: 6 Towns projects both drew on the rich past of The Potteries for inspiration and dramatic effect.
Artist exchange projects with India and Korea opened up conversations across national boundaries presented in the Heart:Beat and Place and Practices exhibitions.
We also worked with many local community groups, families and schoolchildren over 2016/2017 and evidence of their involvement was seen in the project presented such as The Clay Pit installation at Spode Hall, one of the highlights of the 2017 British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent.