Royal College of Art sculptor uses Staffordshire clay to win Ceramics Biennial Spode Award

By Culture24 Reporter | 19 October 2011
  • Archived article
A photo of an abstract brown sculpture made from clay
A detail from Phoebe Cummings' raw clay creations during her residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010. The 30-year-old sculptor has won the Spode Award at the British Ceramics Biennial
© Phoebe Cummings
A graduate who used clay dredged from the swamps which once submerged Staffordshire has won the £10,000 Spode Award, the main prize at the British Ceramics Biennial currently pervading Stoke-on-Trent.

Phoebe Cummings, a prodigy from the Royal College of Art, invokes the prehistoric landscapes and the raw material which drove the ceramic industry in the Potteries by shaping complex organic sculptures with raw clay at the sites where she found them.
A photo of abstract miniature swamps made from brown clay running along a corridor
The swamps of Staffordshire inspired the artist
© Phoebe Cummings
Fragment, from her series A Place Half Remembered, was selected from 24 shortlisted contemporary artists, from a national open submission which attracted more than 160 hopefuls.
 
"Fragment stood out as an extraordinary piece, moving the viewer apprehensively from the past through to an imagined future," said Barney Hare Duke, a co-director of the Biennial who was a member of the judging panel.

"The consistent quality [of the shortlist] demonstrates the accomplishment and vitality of contemporary ceramic practice in the UK."

  • The British Ceramics Biennial continues until November 13 2011. Read our Review.
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