25th October 2017

Cockpit Arts is pleased to announce that the winner of our inaugural Ceramic Residency is Royal College of Art graduate, Victoria Andrew.

After completing her BA in Contemporary Craft at Falmouth University in 2015, Victoria specialised in Ceramics and Glass for her Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art. Having completed her studies this year, Victoria has already captured the attention of the ceramics world – during the London Design Festival’s Modern Design Review exhibition at the Ace Hotel and at the RCA / Christie’s showcase ‘The Emerging and The Established’ in January. Prior to that, she has exhibited her work widely, including at The Eden Project, Plymouth City Museum, Malcolm Sutcliffe Gallery and the National Trust’s Trelissick Garden.

Victoria creates large and small ceramic compositions that find visual balance influenced by her perception of the urban environment. Her larger pieces are created in terracotta brick clay in combination with elements of glass and found materials. They are references to architectural structures with materials commonly used in construction and which form a huge part of the city surroundings. Each form highlights elements unique to the material that may be overlooked in day to day use.

This one-year Residency has been made possible by the generosity of a Circle of Patrons and was devised as a unique development opportunity for a talented ceramicist to explore new ideas and concepts. Cockpit Arts has a particular interest in supporting a ceramicist who has a strong desire to experiment and take risks with their practice over the Residency period. Cockpit’s supporters felt that while in recent years ceramics has become a more integrated field across contemporary arts practice, starting up or developing a ceramic practice is difficult, costly and time consuming. Given this, the aim is to offer a unique type of residency for ceramicists: providing the time and space for a maker to develop their work and ideas, as well as support to help create a sustainable business model or further accelerate an existing one.

In her application to the Award, Victoria explained what this opportunity would enable her to work towards: “My first aim would be to increase the scale of the work. Having invested much time in developing an experimental pallet of surface finishes I would aim to work on a larger scale more in keeping with my architectural influences. I would then like to photograph these works in industrial settings to further explore the relationship with this landscape and consider how I would like site specific works to play a role in the future of my practice.”

Award judge and renowned ceramicist, Felicity Aylieff, gave further insight into Victoria’s work: “Fresh, innovative and inventive, Victoria Andrew’s intriguing work, juxtaposes ceramic components, created from compressed clay shavings, sawn bricks, and sheets of a woven clay mesh. Although small, her collaged sculptures have the aspiration of scale. Her preoccupation with composition, colour, light and shadow, and the contrasting qualities of material, resonate with her passion for contemporary architecture.”

The Award selection panel, comprising gallerist Sarah Myerscough, art critic Emma Crichton-Miller, ceramicist Felicity Aylieff and Cockpit Arts’ Chief Executive Vanessa Swann and Business Incubation Manager, Madeleine Furness, were looking for a maker who demonstrates originality, innovation, creativity, craft skills and quality in the work and concepts presented.

On reaching their decision, Emma Crichton-Miller said: “We all felt that here was an undoubted and original talent, who would benefit enormously from the year’s studio space and career support offered by the Cockpit Arts Ceramic Residency. I have no doubt that with the benefit of time to experiment and business advice, Andrew will develop really ambitious work that will surprise and delight us all.”

Cockpit Arts’ Trustee, Sarah Myerscough noted: “She really has such a confident mature creative vision. It does not come across immediately and that’s where Cockpit can really support.”

Madeleine Furness commented: “Cockpit’s support is focussed on how we help our makers and awardees build the confidence to identify clear ambitious goals, and create the steps and story needed to get there – tailored to wherever in the market they want to locate themselves. We felt this kind of support would be perfect timing for Victoria as she designs her future business.”

And a concluding summary from Felicity Aylieff:
“This residency will give her both the physical and mental space to grow her ideas and ambition. The professional practice programme will provide her with confidence to expand into the wider world beyond the studio, and encourage her to seek new and exciting opportunities for placing work! A well deserving winner for this residency!”

Victoria will take up her place at our Deptford studios in January 2018.

Cockpit Arts gratefully acknowledges the generosity and support of Rohde Kilns and the Circle of Patrons for this award – Preston Fitzgerald, Sydney and Anne Levinson, Eric and Ginny Campus, Sarah and Gerard Griffin, Susan Charles, Janice Hosegood and anonymous donations.

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