An exhibition curated by artists Alex Hoda and Robert Rush, of some of the most exciting contemporary artists working in ceramics today. All of these new comissions have been fired on-site in our very own wood-burning kiln.
Over the course of 27th August – 8 November, Cass Sculpture Foundation will unveil an exhibition of new works produced through a new, open-source sculpture in the form of wood-burning outdoor kiln. Intended to provide a permanent resource for artists and ceramicists, as well as acting as an artwork in itself, the kiln’s first project will be to fire new ceramic works by a group of 10 of the UK’s most talented artists.
CASS invited artists Alex Hoda and Robert Rush to guest curate an exhibition of contemporary artists working in ceramics. The new works, each commissioned by CASS, will be fired on site, and exhibited in the organisation’s Main Gallery.
Each work will explore the theme of Rough Music. The term refers to the English folk practice, common in the 18th and 19th centuries, whereby individuals who had offended the community through some domestic misdemeanour were publicly ridiculed by rowdy and cacophonous performances conducted by mobs outside their homes. Effigies were often involved, as were rhymes, songs, insults, crude theatre and the banging of pots and pans. In many ways, rough music was a vernacular form of vigilante satire – and equivalent rituals existed in many other countries.
Following this theme, and with the intention of exploring ‘the expressive, aesthetic or conceptual potential available within failure, accident and the arbitrary’, each of the selected artists will be responding to the theme in their own personal way, participating in the rough-music tradition by producing new ceramic works that bear the marks of domesticity and absurdity.
Alongside their new works for Rough Music, each artist will also fire wasters in the kiln at Cass Sculpture Foundation. These wasters will be the subject of an exhibition at London-based gallery Edel Assanti (8th September to 3rd of October). Wasters are items that fail in the firing and therefore regarded as waste items. However, in the common parlance of wood firing, the term has now come to refer to any piece of ceramic whose primary function is utilitarian, to keep the chamber temperature even. These wasters often have a secondary function as an amusement to their maker.