Factory is a performance installation by Neil Brownsword
For over three decades artist Neil Brownsword has drawn from the ceramic manufacture of his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. Apprenticed at the age of 16 at Wedgwood, there he encountered first-hand the skills and craftsmanship behind their iconic pots and this formative experience is at the core of his examination of place, people and the loss of traditional knowledge.
In FACTORY, nominated recently for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize, Brownsword raises questions surrounding the value of inter-generational industrial craft practices. China flower-making is one of the few methods of mass-production that relies completely on the dexterity of the hand, but subject to changing fashion and globalisation this industry has all but disappeared. Under Brownsword’s instruction, flower maker Rita Floyd re-stages her former working practice, but then casually discards what she makes. The waste that accrues becomes a metaphor for an intangible cultural heritage that remains increasingly in danger of being lost.
Neil studied at Brunel University and the Royal College of Art, and has gone on to win national and international acclaim for his work, which combines ceramics, film and performance.
Factory is kindly sponsored by Coal Drops Yard, a new shopping street in the heart of King’s Cross housing a unique mix of iconic global and independent brands. Opening this October.