Celebrate British Ceramics at the Biennial

Head to Stoke-on-Trent for a five-week festival of exhibitions, installations and events in the home of British ceramics.

Now in its 10th year, The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) returns to Stoke-on-Trent from 7 September to 13 October 2019, with over 300 contemporary artists and makers in a programme of exhibitions, installations and events taking place in six cultural venues across the city.

British Ceramics Biennial in the China Hall of the original Spode factory site. Photography: Joel Fildes.

This international festival of ceramics begins in the BCB hub, the China Hall in the original Spode factory site extending to AirSpace Gallery, and pops up across the city with  commissions at Middleport Pottery, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Spode Works and World of Wedgwood.

Bruce McClean from ‘100 plates’, 2015.

Find out about classic Wedgwood Jasperware.

As in previous years, the post-industrial setting of the original Spode factory site is the main hub of the festival, where there will be 13 exhibitions in the China Hall, alongside live workshop areas where you can get involved in clay making demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Externalising the Archive at Spode Works. Photography: Jenny Harper.

At the centre of the biennial are two exhibitions, AWARD and Fresh. AWARD brings together new work created by 10 innovating ceramic artists competing for a £10,000 prize.

Irina Razumovskaya Grid Bars, 2017. AWARD exhibition at Spode China Hall.

The shortlisted artists are: 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.

Zoe Preece, Material Presence, 2018 Porcelain, flux. AWARD exhibition at Spode China Hall. Photography: Dewi Lloyd

Alongside this, Fresh showcases work by 20 of the UK’s most talented recent ceramics graduates.

Fresh exhibition in the China Hall of the original Spode factory site featuring Eusebio Sanchez ‘Antropomórfico’, 2017 and Patricia Mato-Mora ‘Hydroanthropozoa’, 2017. Photography: Joel Fildes

Other exhibitions and events include 22 Hands at World of Wedgwood; Externalising the Archive at Spode Works and Resonating Spaces at Middleport Pottery.

A free week–end festival bus will run between the different venues, enabling visitors to get round the ceramic city to experience the full programme of events.

Barney Hare Duke, Artistic Director of the British Ceramics Biennial, comments: ‘The British Ceramics Biennial is about people, place and clay. I am delighted that, as we mark our 10th anniversary, we are able to work so closely with artists, local residents and with partners across Stoke-on-Trent to create such an ambitious, thought- provoking programme – one that celebrates and highlights the heritage and cultural riches of this extraordinary city.’

Find out more at britishceramicsbiennial.com

Find more contemporary craft at The New Craftsmen.

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