Celebrating the Dearne Valley’s forgotten industry

An exciting new exhibition combining history, community engagement and contemporary ceramics opens at the Cooper Gallery on Saturday, 30 January.

Photo 05-01-2016 12 33 52

The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, commissioned Yorkshire artist Adele Howitt to produce new work on the theme of the ‘Forgotten Potteries of the Dearne Valley’.

The potteries of South Yorkshire once rivalled those in Stoke-on-Trent, with the most famous being the world renowned Rockingham Pottery in Swinton. However during the nineteenth century over twenty other potteries made for a thriving industrial scene, but are now largely forgotten.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet spokesperson for Place, said: “The Dearne Valley is synonymous with coal mining but it has also been a home to many other important industries. The potteries employed thousands of local people and produced wares that were shipped across the world.”

Adele Howitt, artist, who has exhibited across the UK and Europe, said: “Researching the potteries of the Dearne Valley has influenced my re-interpretation of the landscape. The extensive pattern, symbols and aspirational landscapes found in these potteries are combined to create high end table decorations through to utilitarian platters and tea services.”

A small selection of historic pots produced in the area will be shown alongside Adele’s new work. Many of these items have been loaned by local pottery expert Graham Oliver, former guitarist from the heavy metal band Saxon.

Hoyland Library 1-12-15 (2)

Stephen Miller, DVLP Community Officer, said: “Community has been at the heart of this project and Adele’s work. We delivered pottery sessions in Hoyland, Swinton and Wath-upon-Dearne for people to learn new skills and contribute to the exhibition. The quality of work produced at the sessions was exceptional and everyone will be able to come and see their finished pots at the Cooper Gallery.”

The exhibition continues at the Cooper Gallery until 12th March 2016.

The DVLP have also put together a short film about the exhibition which can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Barnsley Museum venues are free of charge and for more information about exhibitions and other events taking place, please visit www.barnsley.museums.com or call 01226 772 500.

Latest News from the Dearne Valley