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Artist launches perfectly crafted partnership

12th June 2014

Northumbria University, Newcastle and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) have forged a new partnership that will support teaching and research, while creating a range of opportunities for artists and the community.

Launched at the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, the two organisations celebrated the announcement with ceramic artist, Stephen Graham, the first holder of the Henry Rothschild Ceramics Bursary in partnership with Northumbria University. The new strategic partnership will support the development and research of collections and provide opportunities for staff from both organisations, students and local communities.

The Shipley is home to the Henry Rothschild Study Centre of 20th century studio ceramics, which houses an outstanding collection of works by leading ceramicists who worked in Britain and internationally.  The collection was created by Henry Rothschild, founder of the Primavera Gallery in Sloane Street, London, in 1946, which quickly became the country’s leading retailer of quality craft and design. In 1960 a second Primavera shop opened in Cambridge. Henry Rothschild organised a continuous series of exhibitions at Primavera’s London and Cambridge branches, and gave enormous encouragement to the new generation of British potters who are all strongly represented in his collection. The new bursary recognises the significance of the Shipley’s collection and supports Northumbria’s aims to nurture artistic talent.

The bursary programme has been jointly funded by Henry Rothschild’s family and Northumbria University. The programme consists of a series of five bursaries which will be offered to an early career ceramicist while, in alternate years, a ceramics-based community programme will be delivered, managed by the Shipley Art Gallery.

Both TWAM and Northumbria have already worked in partnership on a number of projects that have seen exhibitions curated by lecturers, and PhD students explore Shipley’s collection and its impact, in a study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “This partnership signals a new period of joint working between Northumbria University and TWAM. We are already working closely together on projects such as the centenary commemoration of the Great War where TWAM staff are working alongside Northumbria academics, and on migration studies relating to the Destination Tyneside gallery at Discovery Museum in Newcastle as well as on many other ideas across our broad collections of museum objects and archives.  This bursary for ceramic artists is just one example of what we can achieve together. “

Lucy Winskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Business and Engagement at Northumbria University, said: “We are committed to supporting the creative and cultural sector in the North East and our strategic partnership with TWAM is an excellent example of an innovative, mutually beneficial relationship. TWAM plays a key role in the region, especially in their contribution to art, culture, heritage and science. It is their commitment to the economic, social and cultural well-being of the region through an inclusive programme that enables TWAM to make a positive and real difference to the community.”

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