Collective Matter

Research & Response Project

  

2021 A.C.E. Application

 Supporting Document 

WHO WE ARE:

Mary O'Malley

Mary is an American-born ceramic artist, activist, educator, and co-founder of Collective Matter. She is currently the artist in residence at Wesleyan College and Professor of Ceramics at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, USA. 

Eva Masterman

Eva is a British ceramic artist, educator, community organizer, and co-founder of Collective Matter. Eva is currently the Norma Lipman Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University UK. 

Katie Spragg

Katie is a British ceramic artist, educator, community organiser, and co-founder of Collective Matter. Katie is currently a tutor at the Royal College of Art in London and is based in Brighton, UK. 

COLLECTIVE MATTER PROJECT SPACES:

Sugarhouse Studios

Unit 8

Our main clubhouse is our Bermondsey based workshop in Sugarhouse Studios - a hub of multi-media creative workshops managed by Turner Prize-winning arts-architecture group, Assemble.

 

This space was built to spec using crowdfunded resources in collaboration with Geoffrey Hagar. Unit 8 is home to our residency program, a public workshop space, ceramic facilities accessible by the public and Sugarhouse Studio residents, and artist spaces available to let. 

The Potting Shed

Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer

The Potting Shed is our satellite project space in collaboration with Brooke Bennington Gallery. Spearheaded by Eva and built in collaboration with Geoffrey Hagger, the Potting Shed is located on the picturesque grounds of the Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer sculpture park. 

The Shed infuses the aesthetics and ethos of Black Mountain College and Bauhaus and is a creative space for experimental social engagement practices and happenings. 

OUR PAST PROJECTS:

Residency Program at Sugarhouse Studios

Our six month residency program is currently funded and runs in collaboration with Modern Painters, New Decorators. Residents are chosen via an online application process. Creatives with or without experience working with clay are encouraged to apply and are supported with online tutorials from CM, technical support from our studio manager, and have full access to our ceramics studio in Sugarhouse Studios. Our residents develop new work, run public workshops, and end their residency with an exhibition in the CM studio in Bermondsey and or at MPND's location in Loughborough. Past residents include Juliet Fleming, Alicia Tsigarides, Lulu Senft, Jo Taylor, and Anke Buchmann

Material Action ​for the Tate Exchange

In the fall of 2016, as recent graduates from the Royal College of Art, we were commissioned by Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership to develop a six-month residency programme with the Tate Exchange. Our project titled Material Action produced in conjunction with the Tate Modern and three south London galleries (Pump House Gallery, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, and Gasworks) revolved around the changing narrative of the Lambeth and Wandsworth areas. Through a series of creative workshops which included practical clay activities, storytelling, guided walks, and discussion groups, we collaborated with local young people (14-25 year olds), to share stories and experiences of their local environment.​

Material Action for Tate Exchange held workshops in each of the

 

enterprise project, The Portland Inn in Stoke on Trent, Rebecca Davies and Anna Francis organised a two-day gathering of learning, socialising, and debate. Through clay workshops, campouts and discussion, they investigated the power of art for social change. 

 

Emily Motto created a sculptural drawing through the Potting Shed , The Obstacle Course, which engaged with the movements of people passing through the space, creating an environment for collaborative making, material investigation, and play.

Film by Joshua Jones and Collective Matter

Inaugural programming at The Potting Shed

In the summer of 2019, we launched our initial programming at The Shed through three projects developed and hosted by invited artists. These artists and arts groups investigated the value and models of contemporary social practice through a series of interventions, events, and workshops.

Loughborough based arts organisation, Modern Painters, New Decorators hosted an exhibition at The Shed, A Mountain is a Mountain, which showcased series of community-made ceramics, display structures, and posters, using collaborative curation to explore workshop outputs.

 

Working as an extension of their current social

 

partnering South London galleries and culminated in a final exhibition at the Tate Modern in March 2017. ultimately engaging over 800+ participants at the Tate Modern and in the surrounding communities.

Public workshop and artist's spaces

At our headquarters in Sugarhouse studios, we offer three artist workspaces for rent, a public studio space used by our resident, other Sugarhouse makers, and the public to create clay work and hold workshops. We also lend out our equipment for use, this includes two kilns, one of which is ___m2, materials and glazes, a plaster working area, pottery wheel, and technical assistance. These goings-on are overseen by our workshop manager Alice ____.

Tool to Table

In this workshop held in collaboration with London Craft Week in the large public workshop at Sugarhouse Studios, the public was invited to a dropin workshop to learn how to make tools out of found objects, and use them to create elements for a dining service. This collaborative project resulted in an elaborate table landscape. All of the works were fired and participants were invited back to Sugarhouse to retrieve their finished pieces. 

Kintsugi Workshop

 

London Festival of Architecture

Our Kintsugi workshop was originally developed by Mary for our Tate Exchange project Material Action at Gasworks London. It was rebooted as part of our final workshop at the Tate Modern and was run again when Nine Elms Vauxhall commissioned us to hold this workshop during the London Festival of Architecture.

 

Participants were invited to bring in old ceramic objects to be smashed and mixed up with bric-a-brac found at local charity shops. The shards were then glued together, mimicking the Japanese technique of kintsugi to create new objects. Kintsugi embodies the Japanese philosophy that an object's faults are beautiful elements of its identity and history. This workshop was inspired by the changing area around the Tate Modern. The original workshop was titled "New Heirlooms"

OUR PARTNERS:

Assemble

 

Assemble are a collective based in London who work across the fields of art, architecture and design. Assemble's working practice seeks to address the typical disconnection between the public and the process by which places are made. Assemble champion a working practice that is interdependent and collaborative, seeking to actively involve the public as both participant and collaborator in the ongoing realization of the work. They were the Turner Prize recipients in 2015 and their socially responsible approach led them to win a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2017.

Brooke Benington

Brooke Benington is a contemporary art gallery run by George Marsh and Lily Brooke and operates across three locations: London, Fulmer, and Mexico City. Projects include an online exhibition space, a residency program in Mexico City, and a contemporary sculpture park. 

Modern Painters, New Decorators

MPND is an artist-led organisation running a gallery, shop and studios from a shopping centre in Loughborough, East Midlands. They enable artists to re-energise the local by producing free contemporary art exhibitions, artist-produced products and creative membership schemes. They're known for their collaborative approach to exhibition-making and unique volunteer development programme. The project was started in 2017 by artists and makers with a connection to the town. 

Geoffrey Hagger Studios

Geoffrey Hagger is a Brighton, UK-based woodworker and furniture designer. He has worked extensively throughout the UK and internationally on design projects ranging from custom collaborations with artists and one-off furniture pieces, to complete rebuilds of residences and commercial spaces. 

A FEW POTENTIAL PARTNERS FOR THIS PROJECT:

Cove Park Artist Residency

Cove Park is an international artists residency centre located on an outstanding rural site on Scotland's west coast. Our residencies support the development of new work by national and international artists, groups and organisations working in all art forms.

Arts Emergency

Arts Emergency is an award-winning mentoring charity and support network. We work long term with young people in London, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Gasworks London

Established in 1994, Gasworks is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation working at the intersection between UK and international practices and debates. They provide studios for London-based artists; commission emerging UK-based and international artists to present their first major exhibitions in the UK; and develop a highly-respected international residencies programme, which offers rare opportunities for international artists to research and develop new work in London.

Scottish Sculpture Workshop

SSW empowers artists and communities through collective learning and skills development. Their programme and rural workshops support experimentation, alternate knowledge production, togetherness and artistic desire. They question the narratives of their location and critically engage with the urgent issues of our time through artist-led projectsresidencyopen access and international collaboration. 

Open School East

Established in 2013 and located in Margate, Open School East is a free, independent art school and community space that focuses on collective learning through the arts. They support cultural practitioners at an early stage of their career to develop and sustain their practice, and enable young people and adults alike to learn new and transferable skills, develop their confidence and shape their creative voice by becoming active learners and co-producers of OSE’s programmes.

Wysing Arts Center

Wysing Arts Centre is a thriving cultural campus of ten buildings across an 11 acre rural site in south Cambridgeshire which hosts experimental residencies for UK and international artists, and delivers a critically acclaimed public programme of gallery exhibitions and events including conferences, symposia, workshops and music events. 

Black Blossoms

Black Blossoms was founded by curator and educator Bolanle Tajudeen in 2015 and has been supporting and highlighting Black women artist through an interactive public program featuring exhibitions, panels and screenings throughout the UK.

In 2020 Black Blossoms established Black Blossoms School of Art & Culture to expand critical and diverse thought that will decolonise and disrupt euro-centric art and creative education.

The Portland Inn Project

A creative arts project for a community in Stoke-on-Trent that aims to achieve community cohesion, economic, social and cultural development by involving the community in the development of a pioneering community space, cultural hub and social enterprise. They deliver a collaborative programme with residents. Their project advocates for people-led change, their programme aims to create a counter-narrative for their neighbourhood. This is a collaborative delivery led by artists Anna Francis and Rebecca Davies

Camden Arts Centre

Exhibitions feature emerging artists, international artists showing for the first time in London, historic figures who inspire contemporary practice and artist-selected group shows. Camden Art Centre also strives to support artists in making new artworks.

Central to its programme is the artist residency programme, which aims to develop artists' practices with practical support, resulting in new work and public participation. 

Mudbelly Teaches

Mudbelly Teaches is a free 8 week beginners ceramics course open to Black people in London, taught by Black ceramicists & artists. Conceived by artist Phoebe Collings-James the idea came from her urgent desire to learn and work alongside Black people in a ceramics community that is overwhelmingly White and classist.

Freelands Foundation

Freelands Foundation was set up in 2015 to give more people the chance to engage with and enjoy the arts in the UK, with a particular focus on education. 

Our ambition is to give everyone access to art education in the belief that it raises their aspirations and transforms their opportunities in life

The Clay Studio

The Clay Studio in Philadelphia inspires curiosity and discovery around the art and craft of clay, drawing together students, artists, and an engaged public into a welcoming community. Every day, in their classrooms, studios, galleries, and neighborhoods, they deepen the connection between people and clay with the highest quality programs and exhibitions.

 

Founded in 1974, The Clay Studio is now a leading institution in the U.S. and continues in the belief that shared creativity, so fundamental to humanity, is a critical force for good.

Thank you for your time and consideration

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