Svg patterns

Returns formed part of an on-going collaboration between Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). Established in 2012, it developed out of an International Research Project titled Topographies of the Obsolete, set up by Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway; and focused on the disused ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Spode Works.

The aim of the research was to deepen and develop our understanding of the post-industrial landscape with specific reference to the industrial ruin. Through a series of residencies and workshops, a cross-disciplinary group of artists and researchers from a range of international art institutions set out to explore the socio-economic histories, industrial architecture and production remains of the former Spode Works The results of the research were exhibited and published during the British Ceramics Biennial in September 2013 and Seconds, in the Lace Market Gallery in March 2014.

The exhibition at Bonington Gallery was the first showing of the newly generated outcomes, with a subsequent exhibition taking place at Sheffield Hallam SIA Gallery in Winter 2016. Each exhibition showed a new development from the work previously exhibited, demonstrating the progression of the research.

The exhibition brought together artistic research from NTU:
Andrew Brown, Joanne Lee, Danica Maier, Debra Swann, and Chloë Brown from SHU.

Recent fine art graduates who participated in the original Spode project were in residence during the exhibition, from NTU:
Ciaran Harrington, and Christine Stevens.

Discussion Workshops

Throughout the Returns exhibition, researchers from the project led a series of discussion workshops. Each session was intended for a small group of invited speakers and participants who considered a specific area emerging from the concerns uncovered in Returns’ research through practice.

The discussions took the form of presentations, group conversations and practical activities. Their aim was to bring together professionals and practitioners to reflect upon three particular points of focus:

Digging through Dirt: Archaeology past, present, precious and unwanted 
Wednesday 11 February,  1 pm – 2.15 pm

Artists will have your Ruin: Regeneration through the arts 
Wednesday 18 February,  1 pm – 2.15 pm

Ruins of Craft: Lost art of making 
Wednesday 25 February,  1 pm – 2.15 pm

Exhibition resources:

From Our Blog

Please join us for a celebratory launch of two new publications:

Traci Kelly‘s ‘Seers-in-Residence’, with contributions from Emma Cocker, Simon Cross, Ben Judd and Joanne Lee (a Nottingham Trent University/Bonington Gallery publication)

‘This publication emerges from an invitation for four researchers to spend time as Seers-in-Residence with Traci Kelly’s monoprint installation ‘Feeling It For You (Perspective)’, which was part of From Where I Stand I Can See You in January 2013. The resulting book documents the creative and critical ideas explored by participants, and reflects upon the possibilities for this innovative model for research.’

Designed by Joff + Ollie

Joanne Lee‘s ‘Gumming up the Works’, Issue #3 from the Pam Flett Press independent serial

‘This third issue fantasizes about luminous constellations of dropped chewing gum on the street, confronts a horrible compulsion to seek out the hard stuff glued under desks or in the recesses of train carriages, before finding itself fixated upon various species of lumps, heaps and piles; ultimately the writing explores creative work as a sort of digestion or composting, and suggests we have quite a lot to learn from worms’

Designed by Dust

There will be drinks and nibbles in the Atrium, followed by a live vocal performance by Denise Boyd as we relocate to Bonington Lecture Theatre for introductions to the publications, and a series of short readings. Click here to join the events page on Facebook.