Production Line

Cummings, P. 2015. Production Line. Southampton

TitleProduction Line
CreatorsCummings, P.

Southampton City Art Gallery, York Art Gallery and Shipley Art Gallery, each known for their outstanding ceramic collections, acquired a major new work by Phoebe Cummings through the Contemporary Art Society’s Craft acquisition scheme. The work, Production Line (2015), grapples with the temporary nature of clay and the choreography of a material in transit.

The acquisition of Production Line breaks boundaries in conventional museum collecting. In contrast to previous acquisitions, the work is ephemeral, almost a performance, and will only exist in all three collections as an archive which includes time-lapse photography and film.

Made directly into the gallery space of Southampton City Art Gallery, a construction of clay was built directly onto a rope and hoisted as it was made. Cummings references the history of ceramics using the traditional and labour intensive technique of pressing clay through a tea strainer, originally used to create the effect of grass or fur at the base of figurines.

Production Line reveals the possibilities behind the production of sculpture and acknowledges that this doesn’t have to be fixed or permanent. At the end of the exhibition the work was disolved into water and the material recycled.

Ephemeral sculpture
Year17 Feb 2015
Place of publicationSouthampton
FunderContemporary Arts Society
Web address (URL)
Image creditSylvain Deleu (Image 1) Photos of dissolving Paul Haywood

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