Ceramic is currently enjoying a bold resurgence, with an influx of creative talent choosing this medium for their work.
At the epicentre of the practice is the ceramics heartland of Stoke-on-Trent, also known as The Potteries. To celebrate this thriving artistic scene, the city will host the British Ceramics Biennial, which kicks off on Saturday 23 September 2017.
Forming the centre-piece of the event, AWARD recognises key design talent by offering shortlisted artists the chance to win a £5,000 prize – courtesy of leading UK tile manufacturer, Johnson Tiles, which is located nearby in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.
Ten artists have been selected for this year’s AWARD, each of whom will present new work in the vast China Hall on the original Spode factory site, the main hub of the festival. This includes Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Zoe Lloyd, Eva Masterman, Pauliina Pöllänen, Matthew Raw, Nicholas Rena, Alex Simpson, Matt Smith, Katie Spragg and Tana West.
The AWARD selection panel, chaired by Alun Graves, Senior Curator in the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass Department at the V&A, chose artists from an open call. AWARD is open to artists living or working in the UK and whose primary medium is clay and their work is based on the exploration of ceramic process. The selection panel chose artists on the strength of their proposals. From large-scale installations to intimate displays, the work on show will exemplify the abiding interest in clay as a medium for making and exploring ideas.
Grants of £500 have been given to the shortlisted artists, with a single cash prize of £5,000 awarded at a prize ceremony on Thursday 5 October, together with an offer to the winner to be involved in both the selection process for AWARD 2019 and the subsequent BCB 2019 exhibition programme.
The AWARD 2015 winner was Sam Bakewell for his installation ‘Imagination Dead Imagine’. He will present a new commission in the 2017 BCB festival. For more details visit britishceramicsbiennial.com.
Main image: Nicholas Rena, Oracle, 2017, photo: Joel Fildes. All images courtesy of the British Ceramics Biennial