Lyde Green Pottery
Artist Phil Root was commissioned to develop a temporary public art project funded through a new housing development in Lyde Green, East Bristol. The development site was formerly owned by Ibstock Brick who still own nearby Brandy Bottom Colliery, now a scheduled monument in the care of Avon Industrial Buildings Trust but once a busy steam-powered colliery. Brick making was a way of using clay extracted during mining, and the poorest quality coal that was not suitable for other uses. Phil’s project used wild clay dug from the development site in combination with Ibstock’s Brick Clay (also locally quarried) to create an editioned artwork to be gifted to residents moving into new homes on the development, Lyde View. The artist held free pottery workshops at Brandy Bottom Colliery as part of Heritage Open Days in September 2021, where local residents were invited to make Roman style pots using wild clay dug up locally by the artist. These pots, and the artist’s edition, were fired in a medieval style kiln built by the artist at Brandy Bottom Colliery, just down the path from the new houses at Lyde View. The artist editions were distributed in July 2022.
About the artist
Phil Root (b.1984) is a visual artist based in Bristol with a particular interest in clay. Phil studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College and in 2011 undertook a residency at Wysing Arts Centre where he met artist Giles Round with whom he went on to establish The Grantchester Pottery. The Grantchester Pottery have collaborated on a number of projects, exhibitions and limited editions including wallpaper, scarves and pottery. In 2019 The Grantchester Pottery completed The Moorings Mural a permanent artwork for an underpass on the Thamesmead estate in London, commissioned by Peabody Housing. Since moving to Bristol Phil co-founded Caraboo Projects an artist collective who organise exhibitions, talks, workshops, residencies and other events. He is also a member of Counterslip Clay, a Bristol based ceramics studio and organisation offering fabrication services to artists and designers. Phil’s last solo exhibition, New Build, was held at the Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City and showed two years’ worth of ceramics exploring modern and traditional relationships to dwelling and our relationship to the earth.