Researching Others - Neil Brownsword
During my tutorial with Peter Castle one of the artists he'd suggested researching was Neil Brownsword. Peter mentioned his name when we were looking at the selection of objects I had created. These pieces included forms made by extrusion, sledging, coating combustables, slab rolling etc each being experimental pieces like some of the others posted earlier on this blog. We discussed the relationships and language between the objects, the space they create between, and the material qualities of each object. Having looked at a selection of Neil's work and read some background I see why it is relevant to the conversation. Brownsword created assemblages initially from press moulded component pieces then many found forms, he later moved onto experimentation whilst working at s'Hertogenbosch. He played with clay with trowels, slaking clay and drying it, there was no narrative or concept to this process. Brownsword used these pieces in arrangements like a visual 3d sketch with each of the objects being a result of process. When grouped together the objects start to develop relationships that develop a narrative. Brownsford's experimental pieces of process when used together create a new language with spatial relationships. I like the idea of his utilising of his experiments and demonstration of process to create what is essentially a still life full of intrigue and objects.
Brownsword's collection of these objects is very much based in his discourse and heritage of the potteries in Stoke, it is about the decline of the potteries, the loss of skills and generations of learning techniques. The body of work illustrated below links directly to the factory processes, the waste, the bins etc. I like the texture and colours in the materials because they are spontaneous, there is an element on spontaneity and experimentation that gives rise some brilliant visual results.