This was an important piece in my professional development as an artist. GOVESHY received a significant amount of nationwide attention and brought me my first front page cover of a UK magazine, it was also the first time my work received coverage in a feature film, playing an integral part in the storyline.
The work was a powerful continuation of my exploration of political and socially conscious craft. It was also a continuation of my use of slip cast multiples. However, it was perhaps my first venture into, for want of a better description ‘live performance ceramics’.
GOVESHY was created for the Art Party Conference at Scarborough Spa on the 23rd November 2013. The Art Party Conference was organised by Bob & Roberta Smith and Crescent Arts (where I currently have a studio residency). It has been described as the “antidote to all other conferences” and followed on from Bob & Roberta Smith’s impassioned protest artwork ‘Letter to Michael Gove MP (Secretary of State for Education)’ which campaigned for the inclusion of art subjects in the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc).
GOVESHY was conceived as a side show stall, I mainly took the inspiration from china smashing stalls found at local fetes and the coconut shy. Delegates at the conference were invited to throw wooden balls at the Michael Gove busts to smash them, thus referencing the destruction that removing art from the Ebacc has on the longstanding history of art & craft in this country, this message I felt was strengthened by the association with Wedgwood.
Karen Thompson, 19 December 2014