Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

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Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on April 19th 2015, 4:10 pm

Back in January I wrote on another thread "From Easter this year two new galleries within the York Art Gallery,will become a Centre of Ceramic Arts (CoCA)".

That was what York Art Gallery were stating at the time but, as Easter as come and gone, they have changed the opening date to 1st August 2015.

Fairly typical of the way our museums and public art galleries are run but let's hope they stick to this new date......... and year.


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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by brin mcardle on April 19th 2015, 4:43 pm

Fingers crossed...i'll put my trip off
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 20th 2015, 10:03 pm

Just to let you know that CoCA will be open from 1st August. I'm off up to the launch reception next Monday evening so will report back.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by brin mcardle on July 20th 2015, 10:20 pm

Good News...let us know
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by climberg64 on July 23rd 2015, 7:39 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b062htmy/look-north-north-east-and-cumbria-22072015

15 minutes (and 20 seconds) in.

A glimpse of the new York Art Gallery including the ceramics centre.
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by dantheman on July 23rd 2015, 12:08 pm

shame they think more of the tourists than of the local working families on tight budgets.
A few years ago I was filled with hope by a similar news report which informed us of a change to free museum entry countrywide , I remember a museum employee said the entry numbers quadrupled overnight but now,as more museums follow York's lead, we will see a return to empty Galleries and museums

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by climberg64 on July 23rd 2015, 9:40 pm

Yes, it is a worry about the charges. Luckily York has huge numbers of tourists who will pay. Other towns' galleries may not be so fortunate and might close if the trend spreads.
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by climberg64 on July 23rd 2015, 9:41 pm

In France a lot of galleries are free to the French but charge foreigners.
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 4:09 pm

Went up to York on Monday for the launch reception of CoCA and will write a few thoughts here and below.

Firstly, it was well attended and Lars Tharp was there to officially open the event. He was quite amusing and the prosecco was readily available but doesn't it rain up north?

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 4:20 pm

The centre is situated in the York Art Gallery, which now has 5 exhibition rooms two of which will be entirely devoted to ceramics. In the other rooms there are pictures, folk art and pottery mixed together with a theme to each space.

In all around 2000 ceramic items from the collection were on show, which is I estimate just under 50% of what they actually have. I understand that the ceramics will be changed from time to time.

For me what is a positive point about the ceramics on show is that they largely come from 4 private collectors, who bought the objects themselves, rather than the items being bought with public money by someone who may have had little knowledge or understanding of studio ceramics. I and I am sure everyone else visiting will not like everything but is interesting to see that collections are not necessarily confined to a specific type of ceramic work.


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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 4:36 pm

So from the point of view of someone interested in studio ceramics there are enough things to see. In one room these are shown and labelled in a manner that has been thought out and easy to see as the image below illustrates: -


The real problem with this room is that it houses the totally pointless and ill conceived installation by Clare Twomey. 10000 moulded white bowls stacked like in a warehouse on pallets. An awful waste of space that if an installation was required could be given over to a potter or someone who has an affinity to ceramics. Twomey has no such affinity.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 4:43 pm

The other room houses another installation, which is a recreation of part of the living space of the collector Anthony Shaw, which put some of his pots and other works of art in a domestic setting.

This is much better and shows how varied his collection is. It does contain some pots behind glass but many others open to the public and large pieces standing on the floor.

I do fear for some of these if children are not supervised but maybe the entrance fee will keep numbers down so that this can be supervised adequately.

An image of part of this installation:-


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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 4:55 pm

The majority of this second room is taken over by a complete wall of pots and other ceramic objects behind glass as the image below illustrates: -

Now these are crammed in and there seems no real theme going on but it does allow the visitor to see far more pots than they would otherwise.

The presentation of the pots for me wasn't a problem but what was a problem was how you were able to find out who made a specific pot.

In the image you will see a man in front on a touch screen and these are divided into the four shelves as per the cabinet but when you touch the screen it is very difficult to find out where that area of pots on the screen is on the actually shelves. Also there are only 3 or 4 of these screens for the entire wall so if it is busy it could become very frustrating.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by NaomiM on July 29th 2015, 4:59 pm

Nothing for sale then?

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 5:01 pm

Overall I believe that they have done well with the space that they had available and I would recommend anyone interested in studio pottery to visit. It is worth the admission charge for the enthusiast but I suspect it will put off many a casual visitor, which could well be a blessing.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 5:01 pm

NaomiM wrote:Nothing for sale then?

There is a shop, with some pots for sale, but nothing of interest to me.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by Guest on July 29th 2015, 5:05 pm

Thanks SP, really interesting and for the photos : )


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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by brin mcardle on July 29th 2015, 6:40 pm

i shall make a visit
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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by NaomiM on July 29th 2015, 6:44 pm

Presumable Clare Twomey's installation isn't permanent and will be replaced with something more interesting in due course.


Last edited by NaomiM on July 29th 2015, 7:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by dantheman on July 29th 2015, 6:49 pm

I have been biting my tongue over that installation but what a waste of space!!

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by NaomiM on July 29th 2015, 6:59 pm

Poor man's Edmund de Waal. Like him or loath him, he's far more interesting than Twomey


Last edited by NaomiM on July 29th 2015, 7:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by dantheman on July 29th 2015, 7:06 pm

that's like saying you prefer watching paint dying to grass growing Shrugs

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 7:06 pm

NaomiM wrote:Presumable Clare Twomey's installation isn't permanent and will be replaced with something more interesting in due course.

I was talking to the potter, Sophie Hamilton, in a pub after the launch and she said that she thinks it will be there 2 years and that Twomey has said that she hopes that it will stay in York elsewhere after that.

Personally I would get the skip lorries in before Saturday.

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by dantheman on July 29th 2015, 7:10 pm

lets hope it's the York branch of B&Q

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Re: Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) York

Post by studio-pots on July 29th 2015, 7:17 pm

NaomiM wrote:Poor man's Edmund de Waal. Like him or loath him, he's far more interesting than Twomey

Several years ago the Geffrye Museum in London had two installations back to back that had been conceived and made by the potter, Kate Malone, and Edmund de Waal.

Edmund's was the garbage he has continued to repeat ever since but perhaps with less pretense than today. On the other hand Kate Malone's was well thought out and extremely interesting despite them not being the type of pots that I like.

I would have been happy to see another installation from her.

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