Press Release

Ceramics Factory opens today at Tate Modern

Clare Twomey Dudson Factory, Stoke-on-Trent 2017

Clare Twomey Dudson Factory, Stoke-on-Trent 2017 © Clare Twomey Studio

Clare Twomey's FACTORY: the seen and the unseen launches Tate Exchange 2017/18

A ceramics factory where the public can mould or cast jugs, teapots and flowers opens at Tate Modern today, 28 September 2017. Artist Clare Twomey’s installation, FACTORY: the seen and the unseen, launches the second year of Tate Exchange which, over 2017 and 2018, will focus on the theme of production.

The installation occupies the whole of Tate Exchange in Freelands Foundation Studios on Level 5 of Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building and comprises a 30-metre work space, eight tonnes of clay, a vast area of drying racks, and over 2,000 fired clay objects. Over a six-month period, Clare Twomey has worked closely with Dudson of Stoke-on-Trent to develop this industrial production line. For the next four days, visitors will be invited to clock in and learn the skills of working with clay. They will then exchange what they have made for other objects made in a factory setting. During the second week of the project, the production line will stop and the visitor will be invited to enter a factory soundscape and join a factory tour to discuss how communities are built by collective labour. A lace panel devised by Clare Twomey on the last working Leavers looms in the UK, has been installed at the FACTORY entrance, embodying the relationship between human and machine innovation. Visitors can find out more about the panel and the ceramics factory by downloading a free app on site which uses newly-developed technology specially devised for use in decorative imagery, patterns and drawing.

Tate Exchange invites the public to test ideas and explore new perspectives, illuminating the value of art to society. In Tate Exchange: Production, from September 2017 to January 2018, artists’ projects will examine the role of the museum in production, exploring this theme through a variety of different viewpoints. From January to May 2018, 60 Associate organisations at Tate Modern and 24 at Tate Liverpool will work with the public in the galleries, continuing the theme. A full list of Associates taking part is supplied below.

The artists’ projects at Tate Modern will include, among others: TENT of Rotterdam with Tate Collectives looking at ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture and where it is produced; and BBZ who will explore the cultural production of non-binary black artists and collectives in the UK. At Tate Liverpool, artist-led gallery The Royal Standard will examine the theme from the perspective of feminist and activist communities; and Cooking Sections will devise new systems for producing and consuming food.

Tate Exchange’s annual themes are closely aligned to Tate’s exhibitions and collection displays from which contributors to the project can draw. SUPERFLEX, the artists undertaking this year’s Hyundai commission, will participate in Tate Exchange, playfully exploring how artwork can be used, modified and distributed. At Tate Liverpool, Illustrating Futures, a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Comics Youth, will focus on the relationship between the production of comics and mental health in response to the ARTIST ROOMS: Roy Lichtenstein in Focus exhibition.

In its inaugural year, over 230,000 people took part in Tate Exchange activities across Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool.

Anna Cutler, Director of Tate Learning said:

We were overwhelmed by the generous public response to Tate Exchange in its first year. It became a civic space in which the public got to share their ideas, thoughts and opinions. We are indebted to the work of the Associates who generated extraordinary programmes and took on the task of an open experiment with great skill and verve. In our second year, we will look at the theme of production and dig even deeper into debate and the nature of exchange.

The FACTORY is open for two blocks of four days – 28 September to 1 October and 5 to 8 October - from 12.00 until 18.00. On Friday 29 September, FACTORY will remain open until 22.00 as part of the Uniqlo Tate Late.

Tate Exchange: Production is supported by Maryam and Edward Eisler, Red Hat Inc., Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Art Fund.

With founding support from Freelands Foundation.

FACTORY: the seen and the unseen has received additional support from Dudson, the University of Westminster, the University of Nottingham and the British Ceramic Biennial.

Tate Exchange 2018 Tate Modern Associates

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning
A New Direction
Art on the Underground
BACKLIT Gallery and Studios
Barbican and Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Bath Spa University
Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital
Canterbury Christ Church University
Central Saint Martins
Centre for Experimental Aesthetics, Institute of Philosophy, University of London
City and Islington College
Community Action Southwark
Counterpoints Arts
Creativity Culture and Education
Dept of English Linguistics and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster
Digital Maker Collective, University of the Arts London
engage, National Association for Gallery Education
Feminist Library
Flourishing Lives
Freelands Foundation
Interior and Spatial Design Programme, Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London
John Hansard Gallery
Kettle’s Yard
Kingston University
Liverpool Biennial
London College of Communication, University of the Arts
London Connected Learning Centre
Loughborough University
Peckham Platform
Pempeople (People Empowering People)
People United
People's Bureau
Plymouth College of Art
Public Works
Queen Mary University of London
Room 13 Hareclive Bristol
Royal Holloway and Bedford New College London
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent
Shape Arts
South London Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
South London Raspberry Jam
Spike Island
Stance Podcast
The Open University
The Saturday Club
The Tri-Borough Virtual School
Thomas Tallis School
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
University of Brighton
University of Reading
University of Warwick
Valleys Kids
Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts, USA
Vital Arts, Barts Health NHS Trust
W Project
Whitstable Biennale
Winchester School of Art

Tate Exchange 2018 Tate Liverpool Assocaties

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Africa Oye
Birmingham City University
City of Liverpool College
dot-art Schools
Edge Hill University
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool Pride
Mersey Care NHS Trust
Merseyside Youth Association
Museum of Homelessness
Next Stop New York
Open Eye Gallery
Project Artworks
Quad Collective
Sola Arts
Theatre in the Rough Festival
The Royal Standard
The Windows Project
University of Chester
University of Liverpool

Clare Twomey

Clare Twomey is an artist based in London whose work often involves intense research, focusing on themes such as collaboration in fabrication. She has an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art and is Reader in the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster where she directs Ceramics Research in The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM).

Tate Exchange is generously supported by:

Maryam and Edward Eisler

Red Hat, Inc

Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As a connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Our mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives. We have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts.

Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, including ARTIST ROOMS and major works by John Constable and William Stott of Oldham, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year, and a range of digital platforms. Tate Modern was a finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017. The finalist prize money has been used to support Tate Exchange: Production.

Freelands Foundation

Freelands Foundation was set up in 2015 by Elisabeth Murdoch. The Foundation’s mission is to support artists and cultural institutions to broaden audiences for the visual arts and to enable all young people to engage actively with the creation and enjoyment of art.


Dudson was established in Stoke-on-Trent in 1800 and makes high-quality ceramic tableware for hospitality industry professionals. This family-run business has been successfully producing ceramics for nine generations and prides itself on inspirational design and resilient functionality in the high-quality objects it produces.


Artcodes is a new technology that allows digital interaction with decorative imagery and patterns. As part of a collaborative research project designers and computer scientists have developed a new interactive technology that relies on drawing and creativity. Artcodes can be found in the lace panel at the entrance to the FACTORY and the free Artcodes: PRODUCTION app can be downloaded on site. The technology was created by designers and computer scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Horizon Digital Economy Research and Mixed Reality Lab.

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