Prof. Christie

Christie Brown - Biography

Research Profile

Artist Profile



Christie Brown is Emerita Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster. She has a BA in General Arts from Manchester University and a Higher Diploma in Ceramics from Harrow School of Art and she has worked as a ceramic artist from her north London studio since 1982. She joined the University in 1993 and was awarded the title of Professor in 2001 for her international contribution to ceramics. Until 2012 she taught on the BA Hons Ceramics and the MA Art and Media Practice courses, as well as supervising on the CREAM PhD programme. She was Principle Investigator on the AHRC funded project Ceramics in the Expanded Field and her site-responsive exhibition DreamWork at the Freud Museum, London was one of the key outcomes. With Co-Investigators Clare Twomey and Julian Stair, she co-edited the anthology Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture, the final output of that 4-year research project. Other recent projects include Marking the Line: Ceramics and Architecture at the Sir John Soane's Museum,  Ambika's Dream at the University's large project space Ambika P3, and Award at the British Ceramics Biennial. She has exhibitied widely in the UK and abroad, and her work is in several private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, UK and the Mint Museum, USA.  

Artist's Statement

The broadening agendas and interdisciplinary dialogues within contemporary ceramics are the main focus of the Ceramics Research Centre-UK at Westminster. Re-examining the discipline through history, whilst engaging in new approaches to presentation through installation and intervention, are key areas of research. My mostly figurative practice has embraced both areas through an interest in our relationship with objects, especially those of an archaic nature which are to be found in museum collections. Archaeology presents a fragmented narrative of past lives and holds parallels with the practice of psychoanalysis where layers are carefully stripped away to reveal hidden information. My work references these archaic traces as well as the mythology and symbolism associated with clay and its relationship with other materials. Inspired by idealised and uncanny representations of the human, such as mimetic figures, dolls and puppets, I create clay figures and collaged drawings that suggest otherworldly beings and composite hybrid characters, but which at the same time seem familiar and reflect the complexity of otherness and identity. My figures, which often include zoomorphic references, point to an animated narrative in which objects have a life of their own. This ambiguity is key to the idea that human beings are not necessarily the centre of the universe, even if they think they are. 


  • Working and Dreaming. Paper for 47th annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, March 2013, Houston, Texas. Published in the NCECA Journal 2013, Volume 34.
  • Anxiety of Endeavour: Personal Recollections of Harrow. Essay included in Tradition and Innovation: 5 Decades of Harrow Ceramics, University of Westminster 2012.
  • In the Playroom: A Work in Progress. Paper for the Go-Museum of Wales, Cardiff 2009. Published Summer 2010.
  • Reflection in Action: Practice-Based Research in the UK. Paper for the 43rd annual conference of The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, April 2009, Phoenix, Arizona. Published in the NCECA Journal 2009, Volume 30.
  • Embodying Transformation, paper given at the Fragmented Figure conference, UWIC, and the Storytelling and Poetry seminar, International Ceramics Centre, Guldagergaard, Denmark. Published in online refereed journal, Interpreting Ceramics issue 8, 2006
  • Collective Traces, paper given at the exhibition seminar, Institute of Archaeology, London. published in Ceramics Technical (Aus) issue 23.

Principal Exhibitions

  • 2016  Rara Avis, Arthouse 1, London (solo).
  • 2014  Ambika's Dream, in Ceramics in the Expanded Field (group), Ambika P3, London.
  • 2013  Marking the Line: Ceramics and Architecture, (group), Sir John Soane's Museum, London, Port Elliot, Cornwall and Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing.
  • 2012  DreamWork, Freud Museum, London.
  • 2010  Hybrid Toys, Ideas Store Whitechapel, London.
  • 2006 Collective Traces: A Response to the Petrie Museum. Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London.
  • Foundation Deposits, Residency Exhibition, Hunter College, New York.
  • 2004 Christie Brown, Heidi Morstang. London Gallery West, Harrow.
  • 2003 Between the Dog and the Wolf. Kingsgate Gallery, London.
  • 2001 Recent Sculpture. Perimeter Gallery, Chicago USA
  • 2000 Fragments of Narrative, Wapping Power Station, London

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017  Material Earth, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, UK.
  • 2017  Concrete and Clay, Roaming Room, London.
  • 2016  Zoomorphic, Llantarnam Arts Centre, Cwmbran, Wales.
  • 2016  Exposed: Heads, Busts and Nudes, Ferrin Contemporary, USA.
  • 2016  Drawing Inspirations, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, Wales. 
  • 2014  Mythology Meets Archetype, Northern Clay Centre, USA.
  • 2013  Sculptural Ceramics, Pangolin London, Kings Place London (focus artist).
  • 2013  Award, British Ceramics Biennial, Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.
  • 2012  Tradition and Innovation: Five Decades of Harrow Ceramics, Contemporary Applied Arts, London.
  • 2011  Women Make Sculpture, Pangolin London, Kings Place, London
  • 2010 Hermaphrodites, Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia USA
  • Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Crucible, with Gallery Pangolin, Gloucester Cathedral.
  • 2009 Ceramics from Great Britain, Galerie fur Angewandte Kunst, Munich.
  • Fire and Brimstone, Gallery Pangolin, Stroud
  • 2008 Myths and Legends, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2008  Sterling Stuff 2, Pangolin London, King’s Place, London
  • 2007 After Life: Collective Traces, Egyptian Galleries, Manchester Museum.
  • 2005 Body Language, Gallery Pangolin, Stroud. (catalogue)
  • 2005  The Fragmented Figure, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
  • 2003 Sterling Stuff, with Gallery Pangolin. Museum Sigismond Olafsson, Reykjavik, Iceland and Friends Room, Royal Academy, London.
  • 2002 About Face, Croydon Clocktower Museum, Croydon.
  • 2001 Ikons of Identity, Craftspace Touring, Birmingham.
  • 2001  British Studio Ceramics, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA
  • 2001  Figurative Ceramics, Crafts Council Shop at the V&A Museum, London.


  • 2016  Emerita Professor of Ceramics, University of Westminster.
  • 2011  Arts and Humanities Research Council Standard Research Grant (with Clare Twomey and Edmund de Waal) for Ceramics in the Expanded Field: Behind the Scenes at the Museum.
  • 2009 Artist Residency Award II, International Centre for Ceramic Research, Guldagergaard, Denmark.
  • 2005 Arts and Humanities Research Council, Small Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts. For Collective Traces; A Response to the Petrie Museum
  • 2001 British Council assistance for solo show in Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, USA. Awarded title of Professor of Ceramics at University of Westminster.
  • 2000 London Arts Board Award to Individual Artists for solo show at Wapping.