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Eva Masterman - Touch Me Use Me

Eva Masterman - Touch Me Use Me

A site-specific project in Stoke-on-Trent exploring transformation of domestic and industrial ceramic languages into sculptural installation

Two ceramic sculptures

Touch Me Use Me is a site-specific installation commissioned through juried competition for the British Ceramic Biennial in 2017, first exhibited at the AWARD exhibition in the old Spode Factory, Stoke-on-Trent. It was further developed for an exhibition in the renowned Clayarch ceramic museum, Gimhae, South Korea in 2018.

It developed Masterman’s practice-based research examining the public and private nature of the studio and the transformation of domestic and industrial ceramic languages into sculptural installation. It built on a legacy of site-specific work, here interrogating environment and context of the industrial heritage of Stoke-on-Trent, and later the contemporary environment of the Clayarch museum, also located in an area of historic ceramic production, to connect past histories with personal narratives and communities.

Referencing Derrida’s concept of the supplement, Masterman investigates the studio as an inherently incomplete space, fulfilled through the addition of other objects, here, either made by Masterman or recovered from sites of former ceramic industry.

Masterman builds upon research within the field of ceramics in the expanded field (de Waal, E; Twomey, J et al.), extending this investigation of contemporary ceramics as a discipline situated between art and craft, to engage with ideas about ceramics and performance, and ceramics as a process of individual creation within the studio and a community-engaged activity. It explores the contexts of ceramics as an anthropological material and ceramics as sculpture to re-examine the relationship between ceramics, sculpture, objects and installation.

The work evokes a disused ceramic studio or industrial space with unglazed, utilitarian-looking pieces: ceramic ‘blanks’ which become signifiers of industrial process. Moving elements, re-activated as the viewer walks through the work aim to draw attention to the relationship of the object and viewer, pulling them in as a complicit part of the work, a transitory supplement.


Download project PDF: Eva Masterman - Touch Me Use Me (600KB)

Ceramic sculptures in art gallery