This event has ended

Jonathan Baldock: Facecrime

Admission Free
Start Time 11:00
End Time 16:00

Bluecoat is delighted to resume Facecrime, a solo exhibition by Jonathan Baldock. The artist was the Freelands Foundation artist in residence at Bluecoat in January 2018.

Tickets are available to book now via their website here. They are currently operating limited opening hours and a timed ticketing system to ensure social distancing in the building.

While we often think of ceramics as useful objects, such as vases and bowls, Facecrime presents a vision of clay as a means of communication.

At the centre of the exhibition is a landscape of ceramic columns, some over four metres high. Originally inspired by cuneiform-inscribed tablets – an early system of writing – dating from 2500BC, the exhibition explores the potential of clay to create communication tools that still connect with us today.

Featuring expressive faces and stamped emoji symbols, the columns emit audible groans, whistles and chuckles through concealed speakers. The columns are also adorned with weaving, basketry and glass drawn from different eras of labour, folklore and storytelling.

The exhibition title is inspired by Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984 – a ‘facecrime’ being an ‘unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself’ suggesting that there was something to hide. Throughout the exhibition, rectangular ceramic tablets feature expressive faces built from the most basic elements.

Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat, said: “We are so delighted to reopen Facecrime, an exhibition of beautifully handcrafted ceramics that allude to ancient and modern forms of communication. We like to think that Baldock’s whistling, humming and laughing ceramic faces have been having conversations together in our absence.”


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