Trading Station Ceramics Residency

Manchester Art Gallery are a seeking a ceramicist to create new work (or add to existing work) using the gallery Trading Station exhibition teahouse as a base. Running alongside the creation of work, we would like the selected ceramicist to deliver a programmes of interventions during the residency period. This can be in the form of creative workshops, demonstrations, performances, films either in the gallery space or online.  

Using the Trading Station: How hot drinks shape our lives as a starting point, we are actively looking to select a maker whose works reflects the themes raised within the exhibition.  

This residency is offered to early and mid-career ceramicists working in Manchester or within relatively easily access. We invite you through your practice to tell global stories and explore issues that our collections do not address. 

Duration of the Residency: 10 days either as 2 x 2 weeks blocks or a solid 2 weeks. Must be completed by 31 March 2022.  

Freelance Fee: £2500 plus £500 materials. £500 to create digital content. Inclusive of travel and expenses. 

About Trading Stations

Trading Station is an exhibition that explores the history of hot drinks and how they have shaped our lives. Through this exhibition we share the global stories that have impacted our collective experiences of our drinking customs, habits and rituals. 

Our journey began through a display of objects relating to tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar and chocolate from a history spanning 400 years. Through this display we explore the origins of coffee in Ethiopia, tea discoveries in China in and the use of chocolate in hot beverages from Mexico to Spain. We also spotlight an important overview of the transnational dealings of the British Empire and Dutch trade merchants within colonial India, how hot beverages were founded on the slave trade and colonization, and the poverty and harsh conditions endured by those forced to grow, pick and deliver the ingredients that are considered a luxury for some and a privilege for others. These stories are all connected and run through the development of Manchester as an industrial city. 

At the heart of Trading Station is a gathering space for visitors and groups to use freely. This space is designed to host making workshops, talks and performances and to encourage new debate, thinking and action on how better to live together today. 

The gathering space has been shaped and co-designed by a group of 24 people from many groups who regularly use the gallery, working with Manchester-based design studio Standard Practice to realize ideas. The space is open for all to gather, to participate in programmed events and as a space to stop, reflect and take stock. 

trading station tea house

Practical information about the Tea House

The Tea house is 6 m long x 4 wide with two open ends. The roof is open with an Izzy Miyake light hanging. There are two sets of shelves, a chalk board, 4 1×1 m stackable tables which can be used in several arrangements, 16 stackable stools, 2 backed wooden chairs and 1 sofa/ 2 armchairs. The maker can use the space is whichever is more appropriate.  

Wet materials/ making needs to be risk accessed in order to protect the collection on display.  

We welcome applications from ceramicists whose work draws on issues connected the exhibition. This could include trade, fair trade, history of colonial Britain, hot drinks, use of hot drinks and more. 

Manchester Art Gallery particularly welcomes application from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic makers who are currently underrepresented in our work.  

Where the maker is disabled, every effort will be made to supply all necessary aids, adaptations or equipment to allow the maker to carry out all the duties of the role. 

The gallery has a commitment to ensuring that staff, artists and visitors follow covid guidelines to keep infection rates down.  

How to Apply: 

Please submit a 500-word proposal containing the following information: 

  • An introduction to your practice
  • An outline of your intended output
  • You envisaged outcomes for participants/viewers and the gallery’s wider audience

Deadline for submission: Mon 6 Dec at 5 pm. Please send your application to [email protected] 

Date of Interview: Wednesday 15 Dec on Zoom  

Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund