Artist Talk: Joe Hartley

Artist Talk: Joe Hartley

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Castlefield Gallery

2 Hewitt Street


M15 4GB

United Kingdom

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Castlefield Gallery is pleased to welcome artist-maker Joe Hartley present a talk about his process- and materials-based practice, the interplay between skill, making and ideas, and his experience of bridging the art/craft "divide".

Joe worked as a butcher, a cook and a baker (among other jobs) before studying 3-D Design as a mature student, graduating from Manchester School of Art in 2012. Having started to work with ceramics at the age of ten, his high levels of skill have provided a bedrock for his exploration of clay and other materials. Joe uses objects, and the process of making them, to communicate ideas; the ideas and use dictate the form of what he makes.

Joe's practice has incorporated collaborative projects such as Maker's Dozen, ongoing studio experimentation, and the role of making in creating a sense of "place". Maker's Dozen is a collective of designer and artists who have undertaken regularly residencies and exhibitions. In 2016 Joe project-managed the building and fitting out of the Pilcrow Pub in Manchester city centre, working with groups from various communities to design and make the fittings for the pubs, in so doing engendering a sense of ownership and belonging. He then co-founded OH OK LTD based around a shared belief that places work better when everybody is involved with building them; OH OK LTD have launched a public fabrication workshop, created large scale public artwork, delivered a number of city centre events, and are currently preparing workshops for the Festival of Making in Blackburn, designing a compartment store called Lawn in the shell of a pop-up bar, and overseeing the creation of public events and market space within NOMA.

Image: Me&Joe Toast Rack, 2016: collaboration with Monty
Ceramic toast rack made by clawing a full bag of clay with fingers, then slicing it up like bread