Placement – Ceramic Connections: Wales & Scotland

PART 1: 17 Sept – 16 Oct 2011*, FCA&C @ St Andrews Museum (Kinburn Park, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TA, tel 01334 659380; open Mar-Sept 10.30-4, Apr-Oct 10-5, free). Artists: Stephen Bird, Claire Curneen, Lowri Davies, Laura Ford, David Shrigley, Dawn Youll

PART2: 22 Oct – 20 Nov 2011, FCA&C @ St Andrews Museum (as above). Artists: Lowri Davies, Ken Eastman, Nick Evans, Laura Ford, Anne Gibbs, Cecile Johnson Soliz, Conor Wilson, Dawn Youll

Featuring contemporary ceramic objects by artists with connections to Wales and Scotland, this original and compelling exhibition explores the narrative possibilities of ceramics through material, form, history, image and context.

From the outset this ambitious collaborative project, devised by Fife Contemporary Art & Craft and Oriel Davies Gallery (Newtown, Wales), focused on producing a combined visual art and craft project. Links between Scotland and Wales were a useful departure point and the strength and diversity of ceramic practice suggested the way forward. An innovative ceramic artist based in each country was invited to bring their expertise and passion to the project. Having never met each other previously, ceramicists Dawn Youll, (Scotland) and Lowri Davies, (Wales), responded enthusiastically to the invitation and embarked on co-curating the exhibition.

The notion of place and placement conceived collectively by Davies and Youll, highlights important associations in the field of ceramics concerning location, geography, ritual, commemoration and the souvenir. Both artist-curators were drawn immediately to the work of Laura Ford who uses the ceramic ornament as a means to connect with audiences. This language exploring common themes in Ford’s sculptural practice led Davies and Youll to push borders between artistic practices and to research artists who use and reference clay in a multitude of ways.

This exhibition offers an exciting and alternative perspective to ceramics, inviting both artists and audiences to reconsider and reposition their understanding, engagement and relationship with ceramics. Part 1 focuses on work with rich storytelling potential such as Claire Curneen’s haunting uprooted terracotta trees and Part 2 highlights works with strong formal qualities such as Nick Evans’ giant totemic columns.

A full colour publication accompanies this exhibition and includes an interview between Dr Natasha Mayo, artist and lecturer, Cardiff School of Art & Design and the co-curators. Activities for young people will be devised around Part 1 with a day symposium for people with a specialised interest staged during Part 2 on Sat 5 Nov 2011. Full details of activities will be available shortly – please check back!

The exhibition opened in Wales (16 Apr – 6 July 2011). For a downloadable copy of Oriel Davies’ press release, please go to our News page.

Please click here for a downloadable version of the St Andrews exhibition press release

Ceramics workshop for 8-12 year olds

Sat 17 Sept 2011, 11am-1pm, St Andrews Museum, cost £3 per child

Led by Lowri Davies, have a go at applying transfer patterns and on-glaze paint to whiteware (which will then be taken away for firing before being returned to you). Booking necessary as places are limited to 12 – please phone St Andrews Museum 01334 659380 – and don’t wear your Sunday best!

Click here to download the booking form [59KB]

Ceramics workshop for 8-12 year olds led by Gavin Burnett

Sat 15 Oct 2011, 11am-1pm, St Andrews Museum, cost £3 per child

Participate in ‘The Big Draw’ 2011 – but not with pencils and paper! Using slabs of clay, create a flat shape that you can then incise with a drawing. Gavin will take away finished pieces to fire and return to you afterwards. As above, booking necessary as places are limited to 12 – please phone St Andrews Museum 01334 659380 – and don’t wear your Sunday best!

Click here to download the booking form [57KB[

2 Storytelling Sessions for 4-10 year olds led by Judy Paterson

Thur 13 Oct 2011, 11am-12 noon and 1-2pm, St Andrews Museum, FREE but ticketed

Don’t miss this chance to hear one of Scotland’s popular storytellers, sharing traditional oral stories inspired by the works in the ‘Placement’ exhibition. Interactive fun for all!

Contact St Andrews Museum 01334 659380 to reserve your place.


Sat 5 Nov 2011, 10.30am-4pm, starting at St Andrews Museum and moving to the Gateway Building, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews

The day will involve a chance to see PART 2 of the ‘Placement’ exhibition hear talks from co-curators Lowri Davies and Dawn Youll, as well as from participating artists Ken Eastman and Conor Wilson. The event will be chaired by Natasha Mayo of the National Centre for Ceramics Studies, Cardiff.

The whole event including all refreshments and lunch is free but booking is required. Download a form here [504KB] or telephone FCA&C to have one posted to you (01334 474610).


Natasha (National Centre for Ceramic Studies, Cardiff) interviewed Lowri and Dawn – click here to see/hear the conversation.

(Image ‘Untitled’ by David Shrigley)