The Leach Pottery is to host an online conference entitled Making Change: Ceramic Practice as a medium of social and political change and resistance.

Leach conference
Clockwise are Dr Jerah Das (photograph: Nelta Kasparian), Dr Leila Dawney, Edmund de Waal (Photograph: Tom Jamieson), and Tanya Harrod

The conference will take place on Friday, 6th May, from 10am until 2.40pm. It has been programmed as part of the Leach 100 project.

It will be convened by Tanya Harrod, craft writer and historian, and will include discussion and networking sessions, as well as the following talks.

Clay and contemporary art: Dr Jareh Das, researcher, writer, and independent curator.
Taking the contemporary display of Body Vessel Clay: Black Women, Ceramics and Contemporary Art as a point of departure, Dr Jareh Das will explore how clay continues to serve as a political and transformative medium for a generation of contemporary artists.

These are fragments shored against the ruins; clay, stories, shards: Edmund de Waal, artist and writer. 
In this short, illustrated talk, Edmund de Waal will look at projects dealing with memory and restitution, including his library of exile and exhibitions in Vienna, Paris, and New York.

Craft as commons: some reflections and an agenda for practice: Dr Leila Dawney, senior lecturer in human geography, University of Exeter, and Emma Daker, exhibitions and project development manager, Craftspace. 
Dr Leila Dawney and Emma Daker will consider the problems of collectivising in an individualised world, how craft making can communicate alternative political imaginaries, and ways to speak across intellectual and practical forms of knowledge. They will reflect on their recent AHRC research network , Crafting the Commons, which supported the development of Craftspace’s We are Commoners exhibition. The network brought together exhibitors, craft professionals, and academics to discuss and make work in relation to the idea of the commons.

Funds raised from this event will support the Leach Pottery Grants for Radical Action to support acts of social change within our communities.