BCB artist in training programme – world in one city

The ‘Artist In Training Programme’ with The British Ceramics Biennial and Arts Connect begins. The programme will run up to the BCB festival and will facilitate artist Tasmin Williams and myself to work alongside local communities and in educational settings. This will be alongside producing our own work in the BCB studio. Our first two meetings with Katie Leonard, Dena Bagi and Jo Ayre were a great introduction into the programme, and gave us insight into the exciting BCB projects we will be working on. Tasmin and I will have the opportunity to work alongside the team, assisting with workshops, eventually developing our own content to lead workshops.
The ‘World in One City’ project started yesterday. The project explores themes surrounding cultural identity, place, heritage and feasting. Bringing together food and clay, the group has reflected on the new community they find themselves within. The Jubilee Group represents 40-60 adults living in the city who await decisions on their visa or immigration/asylum status. I have worked on this project in the past and I am extremely excited to work with the lovely Jubilee group, once again. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the BCB over the last few years, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue as part of the team.
Yesterday’s session was fantastic. Designed and led by Jo Ayre, the group began by discussing food and culture, and developed these conversations into ceramics by creating ‘sketches in clay’. The results were lovely and sparked conversations about feasting, entertaining and Stoke-on-Trent. Lunch was provided by the wonderful B-Arts team. The dough they made for us was cooked by the Jubilee group on a BBQ in the Spode Rose Garden, and we enjoyed our feast back in the BCB studio. We went on to create designs onto mugs using decal transfers. The participants each have their very own mug which they can use each week which I hope this gives the group a sense of belonging in their new team. Jo gave the group the opportunity of trying their hands at the wheel. It was wonderful to see the group enjoying their activities and relaxing into the environment! Talking to the group about their day gave me insight into how important this project is. The group found the session comforting and inspiring. They built new friendships, worked together and found the session made them feel happy and calm!

 

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