The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) launched in 2009 with a festival celebrating and showcasing contemporary ceramics from across the world. The second British Ceramics Biennial took place in Stoke-on-Trent from 30 September to 13 November 2011. This six week-long festival of exhibitions, events and activities embraced the heritage of the Potteries as the home of British ceramics, and celebrated the city's creative edge as an international centre for excellence in contemporary ceramics.
Highlights included a number of exhibitions taking place for the first time on the historic listed site of the original Spode factory in Stoke Town: FRESH showcasing the vitality and creativity of recent UK graduate artists; FRESH Research which focused on examples of ground-breaking ceramic research; a diverse selection of work conceived and produced at Sundaymorning@ekwc, an internationally renowned centre for ceramic excellence in The Netherlands;a large scale installation - A Great Wall - with tableware through to technical ceramics; and new work by selected artists, Neil Brownsword, Peter Jones, Peter Lewis and Catherine Tattersall and David Cushway, inspired by the original Spode factory site. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery again hosted the Award exhibition with the coveted overall prize won by ceramic installation artist Phoebe Cummings, selected from a shortlist of 24 artists representing the very best in contemporary creative ceramics design practice. All this plus numerous local projects including the Crafts Council’s “Firing Up” project to re-invigorate the learning of ceramics in secondary schools plus a range of hands-on activities from throwing pots to making stencils which proved very popular with visitors of all ages.
The winner of the Fresh bursary, sponsored by Emma Bridgewater, to spend three months at Sundaymorning@ekwc was recent graduate Lawrence Epps whose Little Clay Men were not only seen in the China Hall at the Spode factory site, but were also spotted all over the city and even in London too.