Having taught theory and practice across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK, I was excited to join Bath School of Art and Design in summer 2016. The school maintains a real art school ethos - it is innovative, very friendly and relatively small. Despite the usual pressures on HE, it is easy to make things happen here. Despite developing a specialist knowledge of ceramics over 25 years, I characterise my practice as a mix of craft and bricolage, veering between various processes and approaches that fall under the broad disciplinary umbrellas of art, craft and design.
I've recently completed a practice-based research project [Wrting_Making: Object as body, language and material] through which I investigated new intersections of practice and theory, developing working methods that exploited the potential of making as a means of generating writing and the potential of writing to generate, or to contaminate, making. Drawing on recent developments in philosophy and literary theory (primarily Object Oriented Ontology and Uncreative Writing), making was explored as an intimate engagement between body and material.
Inspired by Tim Morton’s conception of objects as ‘strange strangers’ (and rhetoric as a means of contacting them), a recurring question arose from the research: can making function as a model, or a spur, for settling deeper into inter-object relations? Making with clay was central, but I brought this thinking to all the object interactions that I was involved with. Studio and exhibition spaces were explored as sites of writing, experimentation and data-gathering; materials and facture were documented as image, moving image and language. Several material/conceptual making processes were developed - what I am calling writing_making methods that, taken together, constitute the only answer I can offer to the question above.
- PhD Royal College of Art
- MA Cardiff School of Art and Design (UWIC)
- BA (Hons) First class Bristol School of Art and Design (UWE)
- Contemporary Applied Arts
- AHRC Peer Review College
- Practice-based Research
- History and Theory of Art and Design
Building on practice-research methods developed during my PhD project, I continue to explore skilled making as an intimate engagement with the ‘strange stranger’. Making is undertaken as an open-ended process, with outputs that include text, image, moving image, and unfinished objects, as well as fired ceramics.
Writing as a contaminant in the making process and making as a means of generating writing remain key concerns. I am particularly interested in object-oriented writing, concrete poetry and ‘uncreative writing’.
These concerns are explored through hybrid processes involving a to and fro between three and two dimensions and between physical and digital production: modelling, mould-making, carving, drawing, collage, photography, CAD and writing.
I am currently working towards the publication of a book of image-text experiments.
We have an excellent record of PhD research in Ceramics at Bath Spa and welcome approaches about potential research projects.
Research and academic outputs
Wilson, C.J.R, Larocque, J-P, Thompson, K and Wilson, P (2015) 'Sloppy craft and interdisciplinarity: the conversation.' In: Paterson, E.C and Surette, S, eds. Sloppy craft: postdisciplinarity and the crafts. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 151-178. ISBN 9781472533074
Wilson, C.J.R (2015) 'Sensory states and objects.' In: Mayo, N and Preece, Z, eds. The sensorial object: exhibition catalogue. Makers Guild of Wales, Cardiff. ISBN 9780956686886
Wilson, C.J.R (2014) 'Where do you see yourself in twenty-five years? Conor Wilson.' In: Bell-Jones, G, ed. Annals of the twenty-ninth century: exhibition catalogue. Wysing Arts Centre/Endless Supply.
A critical response (Louis Thompson, Hive), ‘Jerwood Makers Open’, Jerwood Space, London, Summer 2012
Wilson, C.J.R (2013) 'A critical response (Louis Thompson, Hive), ‘Jerwood Makers Open’, Jerwood Space, London, Summer 2012.' Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 6 (1). pp. 135-137. ISSN 1753-5204
Wilson, C.J.R (2013) 'Experiment 21: glass bottle copy, in porcelain: practice journal.' Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 6 (1). pp. 37-42. ISSN 1753-5204
Wilson, C.J.R (2012) '"You can use clay, but you can't do ceramics": some thoughts on why ceramics isn´t sculpture.' Interpreting Ceramics, 14. ISSN 1471-146X
Carderera, L, Bryan-Wilson, J, Flood, C, McBrinn, J, Wilson, C.J.R and Smith, M (2016) Queer craft…? In: Design Culture Salon 21, 20 May 2016, V&A, London, UK.
Fatehrad, A, Burgin, V, Richon, R, Mavor, C and Wilson, C.J.R (2014) The production of images. In: So Far/So Good, 10 - 11 January 2014, Royal College of Art, London, UK.
Wilson, C.J.R and Game, A (2013) Translation: object/text/object. In: London Conference in Critical Thought, 6 -7 June 2013, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.
Wilson, C.J.R (2012) Plenary chair. In: Doctoring Practice Symposium, 27 April 2012, Bath School of Art & Design, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.
Wilson, C.J.R (2011) Current research/practice. In: Placement Exhibition Symposium, 5 November 2011, Fife Contemporary Art & Craft, St. Andrews, Scotland.
Wilson, C.J.R (2011) digit_digital: ceramic surface as site of meaningful conflict. In: Parallels and Connections 3: A Ceramic and Glass Research Conference, 2011, National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK.
Wilson, C.J.R (2009) Practice-based research into the combination of hand and digital making processes in ceramics. In: 3D Print Technologies and their Creative Application in the Arts and Crafts, 9 December 2009, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, UK.
Wilson, C.J.R (2016) Writing_Making: object as body, language and material. PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.
Wilson, C.J.R (2015) A cup is a house. In: Many a Slip: Invited Artists Juggle with the Domestic Symbol of ‘The Cup’, Marsden Woo Gallery, London, UK, 22 July - 4 September 2015. [Exhibition]
Wilson, C.J.R (2014) One bag. In: Show RCA, Hester Road Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 18 -29 June 2014. [Exhibition]
Wilson, C.J.R (2013) Research findings from Cranbrook Academy of Art residency. Royal College of Arts, London, UK, March 2013. [Exhibition]
Wilson, C.J.R and Game, A (2013) Translation: object/text/object. In: Disruption : RCA Research Biennial Exhibition, Royal College of Arts, London, UK, 6 -7 June 2013. [Exhibition]
Wilson, C.J.R (2013) Four bodies: red, buff, white. In: British Ceramics Biennial 2013 Award Exhibition, Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK, 28 September - 10 November 2013. [Exhibition]
'Where is production? Inquiries into contemporary sculpture' and 'Thinking is making: presence and absence in contemporary sculpture, The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award' [book review]
Wilson, C.J.R (2015) 'Where is production? Inquiries into contemporary sculpture' and 'Thinking is making: presence and absence in contemporary sculpture, The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award' [book review]. Interpreting Ceramics, 16. ISSN 1471-146X
Wilson, C.J.R (2008) Idea & Act symposium [review]. Ceramic Review, 234. ISSN 0144-1825
Wilson, C.J.R (2008) Searching for beauty: Richard Jacobs [book review]. Interpreting Ceramics, 10.