Artist collaborates with Johnson Tiles to create bespoke ‘tiled art’

Artist Bruce McLean has teamed up with leading British tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles to create Set in Stoke, a backdrop ‘tile art’ piece for the British Ceramics Biennial (26 September – 8 November 2015), celebrating the heritage of the Potteries and the world’s thriving ceramics industry.

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The showpiece artwork is made up of seven tiled panels onto which McLean has painted abstract shapes and lines, taking inspiration from the very best in British ceramics and using a palette of seven colours taken from Johnson Tiles’ recently re-launched Prismatics range.

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It was the first time McLean had used tiles as a medium for his artwork. He explained: “I normally work quickly with a brush, but the texture of the tiles and their predefined shape required that I slow down, and rethink my technique. This presented a challenge in itself and I had to learn to work within new boundaries and restrictions – something that I really enjoyed about this project. It’s good to be free to experiment and learn to work with a different medium.”

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Harry Foster, Specialist Products Business Manager at Johnson Tiles, said: “This collaboration greatly demonstrates Johnson Tiles’ eagerness to innovate and push creative boundaries like never before. We’re essentially exploring new processes, and finding ways to successfully deliver the artist’s vision. It’s exciting to see what McLean has created and it’s a privilege to collaborate with him, providing the platform for what is essentially ‘art on tile’.”

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Taking place in Stoke-on-Trent – which is widely recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics – the British Ceramics Biennial is part of a wider programme promoting education and showcasing excellence in ceramic manufacture and design. To find out more visit:


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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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