Placement artists

Stephen Bird

Born Stoke on Trent


  • 1983-87 BA Hons Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee
  • 1987-88 Postgraduate, Cyprus College of Art, Lemba, Paphos
  • 1996-98 HNC Ceramics, Angus College of Further Education

Based Sydney, Australia, and Dundee

My ceramic works locate themselves in an invented world where dissonant cultural idioms come together to form a language or style I have coined ‘Industrial Sabotage’ . As a way of
positioning my art within the increasingly deterritorialised world I have, in my imagination, returned to the heritage of my place of origin in North Staffordshire, and re-interpreted the tradition of mass produced ornamental ceramics made there in the 18th and 19th centuries. With this as a starting point, I use humour propaganda, trompe l’oeil and meaningless violence to re-tell archetypal myths and make observations about complex
collective issues including politics, cultural imperialism and the global power struggle.

Claire Curneen

Born Ireland


  • 1986-90 Diploma in Art and Design, Ceramics, Crawford College of Art, Cork
  • 1990-91 Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Arts, University of Ulster, Belfast
  • 1991-92 MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Based Cardiff

‘Trees’ entices the viewer into an imagined landscape. Terracotta is warm and has associations with the ground. It is ordinary and commonplace and therefore imparts a sense of belonging. This contrasts with the use of gold which carries meaning of high
value and status. The narrative explores an imagined place which blurs the boundary between what is real and unreal. ‘Trees’ is metaphorical; the gold roots and branches are far from parched and are full of potential.

Lowri Davies

Born Pontypridd


  • 1997-98 BTEC Dip HE Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Carmarthenshire College of Technology and Art, Carmarthen
  • 1998-01 BA Hons, Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
  • 2007-09 MA Ceramic Design, Staffordshire University

Based Cardiff

Lowri Davies’ Welsh heritage is a major source of inspiration.
Distinct works in bone china reference china displays and household accumulations that allude to a sense of place through a re-stimulation of iconography and symbolism that has a deep relationship to her own roots.

Ken Eastman

Born Hertfordshire


  • 1979-83 Edinburgh College of Art
  • 1984-87 Royal College of Art, London

Based Herefordshire

For the work in the Placement exhibition, clay was pressed out onto the ground picking up the marks from the earth. Clay doesn’t really suggest much – it’s cold and mute, so decisions continually have to be made. Not what the piece will look like, which will in time become clear, but the details – how wide, how long, how thin or thick the slab – choices which determine shape. Initially it is quite an intuitive and chaotic process, but little by little the objects emerge. The clay dries, it’s fired and everything changes. It becomes cold and hard – more of a rock than a rag and a different life has to be looked for through the painting.

Nick Evans

Born Mufulira, Zambia


  • 1997 BTEC Foundation studies in Art & Design, Yeovil College, Somerset
  • 1999 Royal College of Fine Arts, Stockholm
  • 2000 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Sculpture & Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art
  • 2008 13 week residency, European Ceramic Work Centre, The Netherlands

Based Glasgow

The ‘Violent Femmes’ conflate universal masculine and feminine archetypes (the vessel and the column) into a single hybrid form. They are also like oversize domestic ornaments,
architecture, toys or pepper pots. In their guise as giant dildos they exude an aggressive and unnerving sexuality. In spite of their solid monumentality and tidy symmetry they are both unsettled and unsettling.
They appear, as one observer put it: “As if an exquisite piece of studio pottery by Lucy Rie had unexpectedly mated with a Dalek”.

Laura Ford

Born Cardiff


  • 1978-82 BA Hons, Bath Academy of Art
  • 1982-83 MA Sculpture, Chelsea School of Art, London
  • 1985-86 Travelled and lectured in India

Based London

Laura Ford’s socially and politically charged figures hover precariously between the realms of fantasy and reality. They are both wryly humorous and deeply unsettling, probing at the boundaries between what is seen and what is understood. Ford works with a variety of materials from fabric and found objects, to more traditional materials such as bronze, plaster and in this instance earthenware. Her practice refuses the traditional terms of sculpture, asking deeper and more pertinent questions of both material and viewer.
(Hannah Dewar, courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London)

Anne Gibbs

Born Neath, Afan Valley


  • 1990-91 Foundation Certificate, Portsmouth College of Art & Design
  • 1991-94 BA Hons Fine Art, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
  • 1997-99 PGCE (FE), University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
  • 2002-04 MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Based Cardiff

The arrangement of objects and organising principles are the main concerns in my work. For this exhibition, the local woodlands have been a major source of inspiration as well as architecture and Japanese Sushi.

Through the act of making, I draw on the unique characteristics of the materials to create considered one-off pieces that stand-alone or are part of a collection. This process enables me to work intuitively and develop a personal playful and interpretive approach.

Cecile Johnson Soliz

Born Landstuhl, Germany; moved to California, USA


  • 1976-80 BA Hons, Fine Art, Goldmiths’ College, London
  • 1983-85 Postgraduate Fine Art Diploma, Printmaking and Critical Theory, Goldmiths’ College, London
  • 1987-89 MA Fine Art, Goldmiths’ College, London

Based Cardiff

Cecile Johnson Soliz’s use of clay stems from an ongoing interest in the still life tradition and the relationship between sculpture and painting. Her reference to historical, handmade and manufactured ceramic objects is way of talking about people and places and their engagement with material and processes. Clay as a material has fascinated her for many years. Tools also are of special interest to her, and their function in assisting sculptors to give shape to half-formed thoughts and bring the body in touch with the world around us, amuses and inspires her.

David Shrigley

Born Macclesfield


  • 1988-91 Glasgow School of Art

Based Glasgow

The pair of boots I made are one of ten different pairs. They are all slightly bigger than ‘lifesize’. They seem to have a similar aesthetic to that of my drawings and that perhaps gives them a reason to have been made. The bomb is also in a similar vein. I think I’m going to make some more bombs and show them all together as I have done with the boots. Some words I might use when I come to describe these works might be ‘impracticability’, ‘representationality’ and ‘neither-one-thing-nor-the-other-ness’.

Conor Wilson

Born Northern Ireland


  • 1988-91 BA (Hons), 3D Design, Ceramics, University of the West of England, Bristol
  • 1991-92 MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Based Bristol

Objects are relationships between nature and people, referring implicitly or explicitly to our conception of matter. The surface of a ceramic vessel seems to be a nodal point, delineating a space within a space, made from the outside and sometimes reflecting back ideas about what that outside should or might be; always offering a narrative on and to the occupant of the space. Recent work plays with ongoing concerns around planning, control and skill, in opposition to spontaneity and uncertainty, while attempting to address a fugitive conception of place through an engagement with the physical and virtual stuff around me.

Dawn Youll

Born Sunderland


  • 1995-96 BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design Foundation Studies, Newcastle College of Art and Design
  • 1996-99 BA (Hons) Design: Ceramics, Glasgow School of Art
  • Jan-Mar 99 Exchange, Maryland Institute of Art & Design, Baltimore, USA
  • 2007-08 MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

Based Glasgow

My ceramic work is an investigation into the process of perception. I experiment with devices achievable within a ceramic language; form, colour, surface and arrangement in order to understand what functions as a sign. Because of the intimacy of domestic ornaments and their relation to personal space, ceramic objects of this scale are ideal containers for thoughts relating to longing or reflection. My tabletop landscapes of forms are arranged not to illustrate another place but to refer you to one.