Hannah Leighton-Boyce + Darwen Terracotta

Articulations, 2022

Hannah Leighton-Boyce began her residency with Darwen Terracotta in 2019, working through 2020, 2021 and the beginning of 2022. The necessary extended nature of her placement allowed the artist to explore a range of ideas and reflect on working in a factory in that moment; considering what it means to work slowly and with care in this context, and to reflect on being ‘unproductive’ in a highly productive setting.

Hannah became familiar with the workforce at Darwen Terracotta, life on the factory floor and the making culture of a company where the pace is held in balance between demand, manual production and the material properties of the slip casting process.

Throughout the embedded residency, Hannah’s work developed with consideration towards objects that have a supportive function and material remnants that hold this memory in their form and surface; impressions often caused by the processes of pressing, settling, slipping, and yielding of one material and/or action and another.

Among the works presented were curved plaster forms made by the process of ‘running’ plaster, which consider articulations and gestures of the body within space. The profiles were taken from hand tools, and the length of the forms were made within the artist’s reach – but where forms interconnect, they slid apart telescopically and extended beyond the body like an architectural prosthesis.

“At times Hannah’s ‘outside the manufacturing box’ thinking has encouraged our team to think differently and view problems differently, in order to help us resolve production issues in a different way.”

Elliot Jones - Site Operations Director, Darwen Terracotta

“Through the residency I’ve had time to become familiar with the everyday workings of the factory, extending ongoing concerns in my practice around the body and space, and to reflect on ideas around health, productivity and working slowly within this context.”

Hannah Leighton-Boyce


Hannah Leighton-Boyce works in a variety of sculpture formats including drawing, sound, installation, and performance duration. In her work, Hannah often contemplates architectural elements from the places she exhibits, incorporating them into her practice. Her work explores material, environmental and sensory relations and the politics of labour through invisible processes such as the transmission of energy, the passing of time and accumulative and reductive forces. Recent exhibitions and residencies include Hospitalfield Residency (2021); The Position of the Sun in the Sky, White Columns online (2021), Personal Structures, PAPER Pavilion, Palazzo Mora, Venice Biennale (2019); Each Toward the Other, Bury Sculpture Centre (2019); Major Conversations, Platform A Gallery (2019) touring to the Turnpike Gallery (2019); Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Castlefield Gallery (2018) touring to Glasgow Women’s Library (2019).


Working with skill and artistic expertise since the end of the 19th Century, Darwen Terracotta has a storied heritage with change and evolution at its heart. Using the knowledge and expertise of generations of artisans, the manufacturer produces elements of traditional terracotta restoration, bespoke architectural facades, abstract ceramic glazes and handcrafted faience tiles. Their incredible work can be seen in Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’, and locations as prestigious as The Royal Albert Hall, The London Coliseum and Battersea Power Station.


“It is always a new experience for us as manufacturers to work alongside these creative people, never sure at the outset what and how they will develop our manufacturing processes into works of art. Hannah, our latest artist, has been a real pleasure to work with and has now been with us for over two years due to the covid situation resulting in the cancellations of the Festival. She has therefore spent a great deal of time in different departments creating some very unusual pieces of art, we cannot wait to see the finished and displayed results this year.”

Steve Allen - Company Director, Darwen Terracotta


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