Neil Brownsword, Factory (Video still), 2017, Film loop 60 min, Courtesy the artist and Korea Ceramic Foundation
On the Disappearance of a Cultural Heritage
Talk by Neil Brownsword
Wednesday, 12 September 2018, 7 pm
Talk in English language.
The artist Neil Brownsword (*1970, Stoke-on-Trend, GB) will talk about his recent work. He takes the ceramics industry of his native Staffordshire as its primary subject, observing its people and production systems. The industrial area became a centre of ceramic production in the early eighteenth century because of the local availability of clay, lead, coal and salt. Adopting the role of both artist and archaeologist, Brownsword unearths discarded by-products from the closed Staffordshire potteries and uses these materials to create sculptures. His work reflects on the inevitable effects of global capitalism which continue to disrupt indigenous skills and a heritage economy rooted in North Staffordshire for nearly three centuries. He has sought to challenge the marginalization of craft skill in industrial contexts and to highlight the danger of specialist knowledge being lost. Recent work has been made in collaboration with former industry artisans, revealing their people-embodied skills and exploring the value of the industry’s intangible cultural heritage.