Bruce McLean - Out Of Stoke draws from the collection of work created by Bruce as part of the BCB 2015 project Set in Stoke.
Bruce McLean - Set in Stoke
No stranger to working with clay Bruce was new to Stoke. Bringing action to Stoke-on-Trent for the British Ceramics Biennial, Bruce responded to the experience of being in the city, the working spaces and materials that he was presented with and the idea of food, its consumption, and of villains and heroes of the food industry.
The starting point for the project was tiles; slab-rolled and hand-made in the BCB studio workshop and dry-pressed and ready-made on the factory floor of Johnson Tiles. Adopting his testing approach to tile making Bruce ripped into ceramic process, marking and painting, pushing tests through the kiln. En-route he explored the food theme, drawing in references to Staffordshire flat backs and collecting fast food menus. Through building and moulding, rolled slabs were formed into large bowls and angular jug shapes. In a final re-enactment of the production line Bruce painted 100 slab bowls laid out on a 25 metre long table setting. All painted at a single sitting the Set in Stoke was completed as an act of action sculpture.
Action sculptor – Bruce McLean enjoys a reputation as one of the UK’s most original and inventive sculptors.
In an extraordinary career which has spanned five decades Bruce’s artistic practice includes sculpture, painting, film, and live art. Always lively and restless, resisting pigeon holing Bruce has worked at various points with clay and ceramics, not as a potter but as a sculptor who explores clay and sometimes makes pots.
For the British Ceramics Biennial 2015 Bruce turned his attention and energy to ceramics and returned to working with clay in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the festival programme.
Contemporary Ceramics Centre
specialises exclusively in contemporary British studio ceramics. With over 80 makers on display it is possible to see and to buy from a range of work that includes tableware and individual collector’s pieces.