Stephen Dixon’s Maiolica and Migration draws attention to the ongoing catastrophe of forced migration, epitomised by regular shipwrecks and sinking of refugee vessels in the English Channel and Mediterranean Sea.
The central narrative draws upon the connection between the historical migration of white tin-glazed pottery – originally from North Africa to Spain and Italy (Maiolica) then to France (Faience), Holland (Delftware) and eventually into the UK (English Delftware) – to the parallel migration patterns of contemporary refugees and asylum seekers from North Africa to Northern Europe, using tin-glazed ceramic as both the medium and the message.
Stephen Dixon was the 2021 winner of AWARD at the British Ceramics Biennial for his work, ‘Transient: The Ship of Dreams and Nightmares’, which will be included in this exhibition.
Maiolica and Migration will coincide with two other exhibitions by Dixon in Merseyside, the other two being at the Walker Art Gallery and Bluecoat Display Centre, and collaboration between the three venues is part of NW Craft Network’s celebration of craft, supported by the Art Fund’s Professional Network Grant.
Principal Museums Officer Colin Simpson comments. “Over the past few years, and especially the last few weeks, we have all been more aware than ever of the difficulties experienced by refugees.
“Stephen Dixon’s installation in Maiolica and Migration highlights some of the objects that people value and the things they have forcibly left behind; it is a powerful reminder that the lives of all of us can change dramatically and unexpectedly and allows us to think more deeply about some of the situations that lie behind the headlines.”