British Ceramics Biennial returned to Stoke-on-Trent from 7 September- 13 October in 2019.
This international festival of ceramics celebrated its 10th anniversary with an expanded programme that began in the BCB hub, the China Hall in the original Spode factory site extending across the city. ‘Terms and Conditions’ at AirSpace gallery sprung up in the city, along with the site specific commissions and interventions ‘Resonating Spaces’ at Middleport Pottery, ‘Cultural Icons’ at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, ‘Externalising the Archive’ at Spode Works and ’22 Hands’ at World of Wedgwood, each a champion of Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic identity.
The post-industrial setting of the original Spode factory site in the heart of the city was once again the main hub of the festival, bringing together 13 exhibitions in the China Hall, alongside live workshop areas where visitors could explore and experience clay for themselves, and an exchange place for buying work and sharing ideas and inspiration.
At the centre of the biennial were BCB’s two flagship exhibitions, AWARD and Fresh. AWARD bringing together new work created by 10 innovating ceramic artists competing for the prize, which was increased to £10,000 to mark BCB’s 10th anniversary. The shortlisted artists were: Adam Buick, Elliott Denny, Barry Anthony Finan, Jessica Harrison, Vicky Lindo and William Brookes, Sam Lucas, Zoe Preece, John Rainey, Irina Razumovskaya and Hannah Tounsend and the winner of this prize was announced as Vicky Lindo and William Brookes.
Alongside this, Fresh returned with a showcase of work by 20 of the UK’s most talented recent ceramics graduates as a platform from which the next generation of ceramic artists can advance their creative careers. The shortlisted artists were: Artists: Alice Walton, Benjamin Kew, Chloe Bell, Ngah Tho Ng (Debbie), Elizabeth Degenszejn, Emily Stapleton-Jefferis, Eunjung Suh, Gina Baum, Ho Jung Kim, Ho Lai, Laura Plant, Lisa Allan, Loh Lik Kian, Luke Fuller, Nehal Aamir, Pam Su, Rose Schmits, Steven Edwards, Steven Sales, Tim Martin and Toni De-Jesus.
The winner of the Wedgwood residency was Alice Walton. The winner of the Guldagergaard – International Ceramic Research Center residency was Toni De Jesus. The winner of the Staffordshire University residency was Pam Su and the winner of the British Ceramics Biennial residency was Laura Plant.