Updates from Arch 04

As part of ‘a space’ Artist Development Programme, the Arches Studios’ Arch 04 is a free testing space for visual artists living and working in the city to experiment with new work and ideas.

We were recently joined by Ceramic Artist Caroline Piggott, who used Arch 04 to develop ideas for The Female Landscape, a stoneware series she is currently working on.

Caroline wrote us this lovely review of her time at Arch 04:

I am a ceramic artist working on a series of pieces under the title The Female Landscape. This work in progress currently comprises a series of 50 small stoneware torsos looking at the female form, as well as several ceramic busts, larger sculptural torsos and a piece I am developing that represents the 10 women killed by men in the first week of the National Lockdown in the UK March 2020.

The testing space offered me the chance to see my work in a larger space. Up until this point it had all been stored in boxes in my small studio work space so it was amazing to actually put out all the work and see the relationship between the pieces. This initial unpacking and placing all the work on several large tables was a special moment as I could actually see the volume of work altogether.

Initially I thought I would only need 3 or 4 days in Arch 4 but Celeste recommended I take the whole week in the space, and I’m so pleased I did. Having the week allowed me time to develop ideas without time pressure and this in turn was liberating. Not having to pack up the work for a week gave me the chance to reflect and experiment in a way that wouldn’t have happened in a shorter time frame. I came into the work afresh every day and saw new things and relationships, which was so helpful. As a result I felt I was able to experiment and develop my ideas and pieces much more deeply. It was so beneficial as some of the ideas and plans I had thought would work didn’t and having the week allowed me to find solutions and develop the concepts I had.

The extra time allowed me to invite a select few people, all with different skill sets, to view the work in progress in an informal context. This was incredibly useful as each person offered different feedback in the way they engaged with the work. The key thing was that everyone felt it was something they would like to see more of and developed, which for me affirmed that the issues that fire me up are interesting to more people.

The space itself is fantastic as it is calm and private. I used the packing chests, tables and black cloth that were around, it is great that there is a range of props and furniture to use as it makes it easier to try things out.

The whole experience has been so positive and I feel I achieved more than I had hoped from the experience. I now see where I want to develop the work creatively and where I need to do some more research to support this. I have also had a development chat with Alys Scott Hawkins to discuss where I can take this, which was really helpful.


To find out more about the facilities we offer at Arch 04 and how you can use this fantastic space to develop your practice, click here

You can also see more of Caroline’s work by heading to her website