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Creative project celebrating work of Poole Pottery receives funding

FREE TIME, a new project from Borough of Poole Arts Service celebrating the work of Poole Pottery, has been boosted by £6,000 funding from Arts Council England.

Artist, Ian Giles, will hold workshops with groups of people in Poole in which they will make ceramics inspired by Poole Pottery from the 1960s. Working with these local groups he will create an installation to be exhibited at Poole Museum in September 2015.
When Poole Pottery was a thriving manufacturer, workers were given time and materials to explore their own creativity alongside their routine jobs – they called this ‘Free Time’. The designs they produced expressed a vibrancy that went on to define the pottery during the period. From its inception in 1873 Poole Pottery is often credited as being at the cutting edge of ceramic design, and as such the pots it produced typify the eras in which they were made. 
Over four weeks artist Ian Giles will hold ceramic glazing workshops during break times and in after-work sessions onsite at local workplaces. He will produce a range of hand-thrown ceramics for participants to decorate, inspired by the iconic shapes of Poole Pottery. Following these workshops Ian will work with the ceramics to produce a large-scale installation inspired by the retail stands used to showcase Poole Pottery in the 1960s and 1970s. Original examples of Poole pottery will sit next to contemporary work produced in the workshops in an exhibition due to open at Poole Museum in September.
Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: “We’re delighted that Poole’s history of craftsmanship and manufacturing excellence in the ceramics industry is being celebrated in this new and innovative way.”
Ian Giles lives and works in New York and London. He graduated from MFA Slade School of Fine Art in 2012 and has shown work at galleries including Tate Britain, the Whitechapel Gallery, London, the Arnolfini, Bristol and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland. Speaking about this new project, Ian said that he is “increasingly interested in exploring the idea of how a performance can shift and become a real experience through its undertaking. I see the re-enactment of ‘Free Time’ as an act of art that also spills over into real life.”
There is still time for local businesses and manufacturers to take part in this exciting project. Workshops are due to take place in May and early June. If you are interested in participating please contact Borough of Poole Arts Service via arts@poole.gov.uk