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Hot Pot Project

Date joined: 25/06/15

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Ceramic Gallery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre January-June 2015 This was an exhibition with changing installations based on the Ann Carr Collection donated to Aberystwyth University by Julian Carr in memory of his mother. Ann Carr (1928-2013) was an enthusiastic collector and user of stoneware pottery much of which came from the nearby Wenford Bridge Pottery. Originally bought in 1939 by the pioneer studio potter, Michael Cardew (1901-1983), it became an important training ground for many younger potters after the 1960s. Between 1951-1965 Cardew spent much of his time in Nigeria where he established the Pottery Training Centre at Abuja and many of the pieces in the display demonstrate the cross influence of British studio stoneware and Nigerian design, most notably the Gwari Casserole which features so strongly in the collection. Michael Cardew was deeply committed to the production of functional pottery and learning through apprenticeship in a working environment. He was very suspicious, even dismissive, of art college training for potters. Ann Carr embraced these views about function and it is clear that many of these pieces have had regular use, sometimes suggested in the display. The changing display has formed the focus of activities for young and old. Pupils from Llwyn yr Eos School, Penparcau, Aberystwyth used the exhibition to learn about pottery, cooking pots and food. Katherine Stansfield led a series of creative writing workshops culminating with a lively poetry reading in the gallery. There were lectures from Tanya Harrod who wrote the prize-winning biography of Michael Cardew and from Josie Walter on ‘Pots and Cooking’. This was followed by a session with staff from the People’s Collection in the National Library recording people talking about their cooking pot memories. Over the Easter vacation Anna Evans and the Young Curators Group of Ceredigion Museum developed an imaginative intervention into the exhibition using dried foodstuffs to create patterns inspired by the pots.
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