JOANNE LEE

 

spode

I first visited the former Spode works in Stoke during September 2012 when I participated in an artistic research workshop under the rubric ‘Resurrecting the Obsolete: Exploring the Site Specific and Associated Histories of Post-Industry’, which was organised by KHiB (Bergen, Norway) and the BCB. Since that initial encounter I have continued my exploration of the site with further visits, research and writing. The images below are a selection of those I’ve been working with: many of them will form part of Vague terrain, issue #4 of my Pam Flett Press, which will be launched at an exhibition at Nottingham’s Lace Market Gallery. Some have been shown in Bergen at the Artistic Research Forum 2012, and at Airspace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

Uncertain quite what to expect from the location, I had determined simply to respond to what I found and did not come with a specific aim in mind, other than to pay close attention to the site, its surfaces and materials. I made around over thousand photographs during my stay, from which I have been able to identify certain points of focus and interest with which I worked as the project developed. Photographing there first in September 2012, it seemed a precise moment to witness the factory: neither exactly habitable nor yet derelict, it remained poised between human occupancy and natural reclamation. Its current state attests both to ordinary working lives and the persistent opportunism of flora and fauna for spaces from which people have withdrawn.