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The Ceramics Research Centre (CRC-UK) is a leader in the debates surrounding international contemporary ceramic practice and critical discussion is essential to the development of the discipline. Members of the Centre are committed to exhibiting and publishing, as well as hosting and participating in conferences, symposia and dialogues. Developing from their original focus on ceramic installation and art practice, and the interface between ceramics, performance and museology, their interests have expanded to explore social engagement, interdisciplinary curatorial practice and the nature of the ephemeral, through the broader context of clay within culture and society.
The CRC-UK developed from the interface between teaching and research based on the historic Harrow Ceramics course which ran from 1963 until 2012 (see Tradition and Innovation). During the first decade of the 21st century, research staff Edmund de Waal and Christie Brown began to explore a strategy to address new agendas in the field, joined in 2004 by Clare Twomey. In 2011 the CRC-UK was awarded a major AHRC grant to explore the relationship between contemporary ceramic practice and museum culture (see Ceramics in the Expanded Field). CRC-UK now builds on the strong profile of its members and their international activities. The CRC-UK is led by Professor Clare Twomey and its current members include Research Associate Phoebe Cummings, Senior Lecturer Tessa Peters, artist Philip Lee and Emerita Professor Christie Brown. The growing number of current doctoral students and recent PhD successes demonstrate the broad arena in which the discipline operates.