Airspace Is pleased to host this new exhibition celebrating the power of clay and creativity to support drug and alcohol addiction recovery. The exhibition brings together work by 20 individuals who have been part of Recast, a collaboration between the British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) and Stoke Recovery Service.
At the centre of the exhibition will be works inspired by the theme of ‘growth’ made during a four-day residency at Spode Works, one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most iconic sites with its rich history of ceramic manufacture and innovation stretching back over 300 years. Alongside these works will be a range of other pieces created at Recast’s weekly workshops, documentary photographs and a newly commissioned film by acclaimed filmmaker Thomas Payton Greene.
Launched in 2017, Recast explores connections between addiction recovery and clay. It is part of a three-month intensive abstinence-based recovery programme with Stoke Recovery Service and is also part of BCB’s year-round programme of community projects. Members of the service take part in weekly clay workshops led by a BCB associate artist where they experience the therapeutic benefits of hands-on group clay activities – from increasing confidence and self-worth and making social connections to the sensory experience of playing with clay to support recovery and well-being. The workshops, which run in eight-week blocks, are followed by a four-day residency in BCB’s studio at Spode Works, where participants are invited to experience what it’s like to use a ceramics studio and create work that’s shared at public events and exhibitions in the wider BCB programme.
We have found clay and ceramic processes to be rich territory for exploring addiction recovery. Coming together in a group to try new things, make a mess, forget about day-to-day life and connect with creativity has been invaluable for our Recast participants. It's wonderful to be able to share all this work with the public, and we hope that in doing so we’ll contribute to a more positive narrative around addiction recovery.
- Jo Mills, BCB Studio and Community Programme Manager comments
You can evolve. Every time you come, you’re doing something different. You’re thinking different as well.
- Wayne, Recast participant
Recast is supported by The Rayne Foundation and The Community Foundation for Staffordshire via the Adult Community Mental Health Fund, which is supported by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust and NHS Midlands Partnership
The British Ceramics Biennial
(BCB) is an arts organisation based in Stoke-on-Trent with a vision to make change through clay.
BCB develops, sustains and expands innovative ceramics practice and improves lives together with artists and creative communities. This is done by delivering an engaging year-round programme of artists’ commissions, learning and community projects. All of which feed into a festival of contemporary ceramics that takes place in Stoke-on-Trent.
Initiated in 2009, the BCB Festival has grown to be the single largest contemporary ceramics event in the UK. The BCB Festival presents artworks from the UK’s leading ceramicists alongside work by international artists, in exhibitions and special events held across the city every two years.
BCB works in partnership with organisations and individuals in the museums, cultural, industry, business, education, community and voluntary sectors across the city in the development and delivery of projects with a particular focus on public engagement.
Funded by Stoke on Trent city council, the Stoke Recovery Service
is a partnership between three organisations: We are with you, BAC O'Connor and NHS Trust. The Service is also part of a wider service CDAS Stoke Community Drug and Alcohol Service.
Stoke Recovery Service offers abstinent recovery support for people of Stoke-on-Trent who have experienced addiction or issues related to substance and alcohol misuse. They provide a wide range of support and aim to offer a choice to empower the client to learn about themselves, their addiction and recovery in a way that makes best sense to them.