Professor Christie Brown

Emeritus Professor of Ceramics

Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media | Research

Christie Brown is an artist and Emeritus Professor of Ceramics. She recently ran the Ceramics Research Centre (CRC-UK) and supervised research students within the Centre for Research in Education, Art and Media (CREAM) at the Harrow site. She graduated from Manchester University with a BA in General Arts and from Harrow School of Art with a Higher Diploma in Studio Ceramics, and she has worked as a ceramic artist from her north London studio since 1982. She joined the University staff in 1993 and taught for nearly twenty years on the BA Honours Ceramics course and for many years on the MA Art and Media Practice. She was awarded the title of Professor in 2001 for her international contribution to the discipline. She retired from the University in 2016 and was granted the title of Emeritus Professor of Ceramics for her contribution to the discipline.

Professor Brown has exhibited her ceramic sculpture 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. Her most recent solo exhibitions are "Rara Avis" at Arthouse1, London (2016) and "DreamWork" (2012-3) at the Freud Museum in London, an outcome of the 3-year AHRC-funded project "Ceramics in the Expanded Field". Other recent solo exhibitions include; Hybrid Toys (2010) at the Ideas Store Whitechapel, London and Collective Traces; A Response to the Petrie Museum (2006) also funded by the AHRC, at the Institute of Archaeology, London. Selected recent group shows include Exposed, at Ferrin Contemporary, USA (2016), Award at the British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke on Trent (2013), Sculptural Ceramics at Pangolin London (2013), Marking The Line: Ceramics and Architecture (2013) at the Sir John Soane's Museum, London, Women Make Sculpture (2011) at Pangolin London and Crucible (2010) at Gloucester Cathedral. She was artist in residence at Hunter College, New York during summer 2006 and also at the International Ceramics Research Centre in Denmark in 2009.

As a lecturer in ceramics from 1993 on the BA Honours Ceramics course until its closure in 2012, Professor Brown was responsible for a range of Level 5 and Level 6 modules as well as being personal tutor to the second year students for several years. She also taught for many years as supervisor on the MA Art and Media Practice.

From 2003 to 2016 she was a supervisor on the PhD programme in the Ceramics Research Centre-UK, with practice-based PhD research being the key agenda.

Christie Brown's mostly figurative ceramic sculpture has embraced both historical connections and contemporary installation 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. Her work references these archaic traces as well as the mythology, narrative and symbolism associated with clay and its relationship with other materials such as wax, bronze and plaster. She often presents her work through site or theme-specificity and her making method of press-moulding allows her to explore the nature of repetition though installation and series. Recent work revolves around the response of contemporary art practice to archaic collections including those of Sigmund Freud and Sir John Soane. On-going research is developing around the relationship of ceramics to other materials,the use of collage in both 2 and 3 dimensional work and the human animal hybrid as a metaphor for otherness.

Ceramics Research Centre (CRC-UK)

The broadening agendas and interdisciplinary dialogues within contemporary ceramics are the main focus of the Ceramics Research Centre (CRC-UK) at Westminster, which was administrated by Professor Brown until her retirement in 2016. Re-examining the discipline through history, whilst engaging in new approaches to presentation through installation and intervention, continue to be keys areas of research for the CRC-UK, which is now led by research Reader Clare Twomey. Ms Twomey continues to build on research around the development of this expanded field of ceramics, including  audience engagement and debates around the ephemeral.

Research projects

From 2011 to 2014 Professor Brown was Principal Investigator on a 3-year project  funded by the The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)  entitled Ceramics in the Expanded Field - Behind the Scenes at the Museum which explored the relationship between contemporary ceramic art and museum collections. The project inculded a regularly updated website (, featuring a range of commissioned essays by international writers, artists and curators, 4 key intervention exhibitions and a range of symposia and conferences. An anthology of essays based on this project, entitled  Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture, edited by Brown, Twomey and Stair was published by Routledge in summer 2016.

Research students

The theoretical PhD scholarship student attached to the above research project graduated in 2016.  There are also 3 PhD research students in the CRC-UK who are exploring a range of issues such as the the roles of historic objects in contemporary social and cultural issues and the phenomenological nature of our relationhship with objects. The CRC-UK continues to welcome applications from prospective research students with projects that reflect this broad approach to what is seen as a stimulating and challenging development in the discipline. Any enquiries should be directed to Reader Clare Twomey.


Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture (2016)
Brown, C. Brown, C., Stair, J. and Twomey, C. (ed.) 2016. Contemporary Clay and Museum Culture. Abingdon, Oxon Routledge.


Working and dreaming, paper given at Earth, Energy, the 47th Annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference 2013 (2013)
Brown, C. 2013. Working and dreaming, paper given at Earth, Energy, the 47th Annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference 2013. NCECA Journal. 34.


Collective traces (2006)
Brown, C. 2006. Collective traces. Ceramics Technical. 23.
Embodying transformation (2006)
Brown, C. 2006. Embodying transformation. Interpreting Ceramics. 8.


Sculptural ceramics (2013)
Brown, C. 2013. Sculptural ceramics.
Marking the line: ceramics and architecture (2013)
Brown, C. 2013. Marking the line: ceramics and architecture.
Award (2013)
Brown, C. 2013. Award. The Potteries Museum and Art gallery and the Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent


Tradition and innovation: five decades of Harrow ceramics (2012)
Brown, C. 2012. Tradition and innovation: five decades of Harrow ceramics.
DreamWork (2012)
Brown, C. 2012. DreamWork.
Another room (2012)
Brown, C. 2012. Another room.


Lost and found (2011)
Brown, C. 2011. Lost and found. Pangolin Gallery, London


The human animal hybrid (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. The human animal hybrid. Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, USA
The Taiwan Ceramic Biennale 2010 (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. The Taiwan Ceramic Biennale 2010. Taipei, Taiwan
Hybrid toys (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. Hybrid toys.
Hermaphrodites (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. Hermaphrodites. Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
Crucible (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. Crucible. Gloucester Cathedral with Gallery Pangolin


Fire and Brimstone (2009)
Brown, C. 2009. Fire and Brimstone. Gallery Pangolin, Stroud
Ceramics from Great Britain (2009)
Brown, C. 2009. Ceramics from Great Britain. Galerie fur Angewandte Kunst, Munich


Sterling Stuff 2 (2008)
Brown, C. 2008. Sterling Stuff 2. Pangolin London, King's Place, London
Myths and Legends (2008)
Brown, C. 2008. Myths and Legends. Contemporary Applied Arts, London


After life (2007)
Brown, C. 2007. After life.


Collective traces (2006)
Brown, C. 2006. Collective traces. University College London
Foundation deposits (2006)
Brown, C. 2006. Foundation deposits.


The Fragmented Figure (2005)
Brown, C. 2005. The Fragmented Figure. UWIC, Cardiff
Body Language (2005)
Brown, C. 2005. Body Language. Gallery Pangolin, Stroud


Christie Brown, Heidi Morstang (2004)
Brown, C. 2004. Christie Brown, Heidi Morstang. London Gallery West, University of Westminster, Harrow


Sterling stuff (2003)
Brown, C. 2003. Sterling stuff. Museum Sigismond Olafsson, Reykjavic, Iceland and Friends Room, Royal Academy, London
Between the dog and the wolf (2003)
Brown, C. 2003. Between the dog and the wolf. Kingsgate Gallery, London


Child of glass (2002)
Brown, C. 2002. Child of glass. Gallery Pangolin, Stroud, Gloucester


Family portraits (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Family portraits. Craftspace Touring at the Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
Portrait of Pygmalion, Portrait of Galatea, the Glyptotek (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Portrait of Pygmalion, Portrait of Galatea, the Glyptotek. Philadelphia Clay Studio, USA
Portrait of the Golem, Portrait of Prometheus, The Glypotek (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Portrait of the Golem, Portrait of Prometheus, The Glypotek. WDO Gallery, Charlotte USA
Red Galateea, Galatea's Helper (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Red Galateea, Galatea's Helper. Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
Red Olympia, Portrait Bust, The Glyptotek (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Red Olympia, Portrait Bust, The Glyptotek. V&A Museum, London
Christie Brown - recent sculpture (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Christie Brown - recent sculpture. New York
Child of Glass Head (2001)
Brown, C. 2001. Child of Glass Head. Quenington Sculpture Trust, Gloucestershire


Anxiety of endeavour: personal recollections of Harrow (2012)
Brown, C. 2012. Anxiety of endeavour: personal recollections of Harrow. in: Tradition and innovation: five decades of Harrow ceramics (exhibition catalogue) Ceramics Research Group.


In the playroom: a work in progress (2010)
Brown, C. 2010. In the playroom: a work in progress. The Go-Between Conference. University of Glamorgan and National Museum of Wales, Cardiff


Reflection in action: practice-based research in the UK (2009)
Brown, C. 2009. Reflection in action: practice-based research in the UK. 43rd Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. Phoenix, Arizona 08 - 11 Apr 2009


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