So I am associate member of of ACWU – the Associated Clay Workers Union. A wonderful collective of non-functional ceramic artists who are come together to make joint site specific projects in unusual settings. As a Ceramic student I am still on the fringe of this budding organisation, but I was delighted that they have included me in a project they are organising with Transport for London at London Bridge. The wonderful Alison Cooke and Diane Eagles approached the contractors responsible for the renovations of London Bridge Station and asked if we might have some clay dug from under the station, to use to make site specific work, based on the history of this area of London. They agreed and screwed down 30m into the earth below the station, with one of those enormous pilling drivers and brought us up some virgin clay that is 50 million years old! A successful grant application to London Potters Association brought ACWU £500 with which to hire a van to collect the clay, and buy a box and sieve for all the ACWU artists to enable them to transport and process the clay. Even after seiving and drying on a bat in the spring sunshine, the clay is very sticky, and quite tricky to work with.
The archaeological dig that took place before building work at London Bridge began, revealed a rich history dating back to Roman Times. In fact an oil lamp in the shape of a foot was found under the construction site. Which is my starting point. I am thinking of giving my foot nail polish, with a nod to gender issues we face today. I will keep you posted as to how the project progresses.
ACWU is working to exhibit the work in London Bridge Sation at some point late summer or early autumn. I will keep you updated as to when this will take place!