Stephen Dixon: Maiolica and Migration

About This Project

An exhibition of award-winning work by a celebrated ceramicist.

Maiolica and Migration draws attention to the ongoing catastrophe of forced migration, epitomised by regular shipwrecks and sinking of refugee vessels in the English Channel and Mediterranean Sea.

The central narrative draws upon the connection between the historical migration of white tin-glazed pottery – originally from North Africa to Spain and Italy (Maiolica) then to France (Faience), Holland (Delftware) and eventually into the UK (English Delftware) – to the parallel migration patterns of contemporary refugees and asylum seekers from North Africa to Northern Europe, using tin-glazed ceramic as both the medium and the message.

Stephen Dixon was the 2021 winner of AWARD at the British Ceramics Biennial for his work, ‘Transient: The Ship of Dreams and Nightmares’, which will be included in this exhibition.

Maiolica and Migration will run at the Williamson Art Gallery from 1st April until 18th June 2022, in the newly reopened Gallery 3. Free entry.

Events: Join Niall Hodson for curator talks about this exhibition. Friday 22nd April 6pm, or Saturday 23rd April 12pm. Free to attend, register via Eventbrite.

This exhibition will coincide with two other exhibitions by Dixon in Merseyside, the other two being at the Walker Art Gallery and Bluecoat Display Centre, and collaboration between the three venues is part of NW Craft Network’s celebration of craft, supported by the Art Fund’s Professional Network Grant.

Biography:
Stephen Dixon is Professor of Contemporary Crafts at Manchester School of Art. His career as a maker is defined by a commitment to politically engaged practice, and a belief in the power of craft to engage the public imagination and to make a difference. As an academic and researcher as well as a maker, his practice engages with the narrative and decorative traditions of figurative ceramics, and brings this rich visual vocabulary to bear on contemporary issues.

His work features in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Arts & Design New York, the British Council, the Crafts Council, the V&A, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, the Everson Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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Williamson Art Gallery, Oxton, Birkenhead, Wirral