On 28 September 2017, Clare Twomey’s installation FACTORY: the seen and the unseen will open at Tate Modern. A fully functional ceramics factory will occupy the whole of Tate Exchange on Level 5 of Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building, with 30 metres of work space, eight tonnes of clay, a wall of drying racks, and over 2,000 fired clay objects.
This is a working factory, too, and you can be one of the workers, helping to mould or cast teapots, jugs and flowers, during its first week of operation. You will have to clock in alongside other members of the public, and will then the skills of using clay while working on the production line. You can the exchange the objects you’ve made with other items produced on the line.
During the second week, the production line will stop, and visitors will be able to enter a soundscape of factory noises, and join tours discussing the communities that formed around collective labour.
FACTORY will launch the second year of Tate Exchange, which, over the next year, will be focussing on the theme of production. Clare Twomey has been working with Dudson of Stoke-on-Trent for six months to bring the project to fruition.
Continuing her theme, there will also be a lace panel woven by Clare on the last working Leavers loom in the UK hanging above the FACTORY entrance, to symbolise the relationship between human and machine.
This is far from Clare’s first participatory work. Currently, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth she’s inviting visitors to copy a single line from ‘Wuthering Heights’, with the intention of creating a completely handwritten copy of the full book to exhibit during Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year in 2018. The original manuscript of her book is lost.
So, if you fancy helping to create art, in either ceramic or book form, we urge you to head to either or both of these exhibitions and get involved.
Find out more about FACTORY: the seen and the unseen at tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/tate-exchange
And about the Brontë event at bronte.org.uk/