Invitational Exhibition of Grand Prize Winner

Invitational Exhibition of the Korean International Ceramic Biennale 2017

Neil Brownsword, UK

Period : April 22 ~ May 28, 2017   I   Venue : Special Exhibition Hall, Icheon World Ceramic Center

This exhibition of Neil Brownsword, the Grand Prize winner of the International Competition of the Korean International Ceramic Biennale 2015, attempts to question the value and relevance of embodied practices that remain marginalized in the very nation where the industrial revolution began.


FACTORY is a performative installation that reflects upon notions of place, skill, people and material objects left behind following the process of industrial change. Since the 1970s and 1980s, due to progressive post-indust-rialization that occurred in many countries including the United States and the Western European nations, the traditional manufacturing sector has been replaced with the tertiary industries or service industries. As Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramic factories have been largely replaced by service, retail and distribution sectors, there exists a significant gap in this tradition and with few apprenticeships a danger of specific skills disappearing.

The opportunity to perform FACTORY in South Korea – a country that gives status to individuals with exceptional artistic ability as a means to preserve and cultivate cultural heritage, provides a prestigious platform to convey how this value system remains alien to Britain.

This project marks an ongoing attempt to raise greater awareness of the intangible cultural heritage associated with marginalized industrial craft practices in North Staffordshire. Accordingly, Neil Brownsword aims to raise the public awareness of the value of traditional and pure handicraft artisans (intangible cultural asset) by presenting his exhibition FACTORY.

Rita Floyd

Rita Floyd constantly make and demolish flowers under the direction of Neil- Brownsword during the performance. The delicate nature of making juxtaposed with the random force of discarding, over the period of time build up a linear deposit or of waste forms, to metaphorically reference the human fallout from this industry over the recent past. His disruption of the production line arrest the various stages of making, revealing both haptic and material knowledge through these a series of component forms.Rita Floyd has worked for over 45 years as a china flower maker, at factories that include Adderley Floral and Royal Doulton.With changing fashion and the impact of globalisation, this industry in Stoke-on-Trent has all but disappeared, and Rita remains amongst the last of a generation who retains this skill.

James Adams

James Adams, has worked as a modeller and mould-maker at numerous factories including Wedgwood, before shifting his profession (somewhat reluctantly) to the building trade. ames Adams create molds for the Moon Jar, which was jointly made by Korea's ceramic master, Handoyo Kwangsu Seo and Neil Brownsword during this performance. Through the history of British ceramics industry and the human assets of bankrupt factories, James Adams collaborate with Korea’s intangible cultural asset, the master Kwangsu Seo. Through this acts, Neil Brownsword will give visitors an opportunity to gain insight into the value and meaning of the intangible heritage once again.

Neil Brownsword and Korean artisans
Shinhyun Cho(Ceramist, Operation of the Ceramics Research Institute)
Ceramic artist Shinhyun Cho creates molds with the abandoned prototype artwork of Neil Brownsword during the performance period. The ceramic artist is one of the rare Korean artists who combine the tradition with the modern and makes pieces in a very neat design by using the traditional technique, called Millefiore.
Yongjun Jo(Ceramist)
Yongjun Cho demonstrate the sculpture artwork on a piece of the molded objet created by Neil Brownsword during the performance period.He is the son of Byeng Ho Cho who is the 1st ceramics artisan of Yeoju and is regarded as the best master in white porcelain. He continues to share his father’s reputation and artworks, showing the excellence of the Korean porcelain with white porcelain’s double-openwork.
Wonjeong Lee(Ceramist)
Ceramic artist Wonjeong Lee demonstrate the painting on the molded objet made by Neil Brownsword. She is the daughter of Icheon Master Hyuang-gu Lee and works with various ceramics based on the beautiful patterns.
The process of how indigenous knowledge travels to new environments and is innovatively applied to established materials and forms, remains a point of reference for this collaboration. Brownsword’s material interactions with discard salvaged from post-industrial sites, will be extended by Korean artisans who will impart theirown traditional practicesto this non-linear mode of ceramic production.
Neil Brownsword
Bergen Academy of Arts and Design, Norway, Professor II, Department of Fine Arts.
Bucks New University, High Wycombe, Professor of Ceramics and Glass.

1989–1990 BTEC National Diploma, G. A. D. (Distinction). Newcastle-U-Lyme College, Staffordshire.
1990–1993 BA (Hons) Ceramics. First Class, with Historical & Theoretical Studies commendation. University of Wales, Cardiff.
1993–1995 M.A. Ceramics and Glass. Royal College of Art, London. Examiners Award.
1999–2006 PhD, Brunel University, London.
2016 Re-Apprenticed: Factory Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
2016 Central China Ceramics Biennale, Henan Museum – 9 Dec-17 March 2017
2016 Master's Manner: International Contemporary Craft Art Invited Exhibition, Nanjing University of the Arts Museum.
2017 Neil Brownsword: Factory, Korean Ceramic Foundation (solo).
2017 Neil Brownsword, Blas & Knada, Stockholm, (solo).
2016 Seed Funding, Re-Apprenticed, Bergen Academy of Art and Design Norway.
2016 Publication Funding, Ashmolean Papers, Bergen Academy of Art and Design Norway.
2016 Charles Hayward Foundation, Heritage at Risk Award for Spode Museum Trust.
2016 Arts Council England, award for Factory project.
2017 Craft Council and Victoria & Albert Museum, The Woman’s Hour Craft Prize Finalist.
2016 Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, Contemporary Art Society Purchase.
2016 Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
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