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Phoebe Cummings Duties

For her residency, artist Phoebe Cummings ​utilised the Custom House as a space of live production, research and performance, and continued her exploration of writing as a form of recording and re-performing ephemeral works in clay.

She considered the historic function of the building as a site for recording the movement of materials and worked with local residents and visitors using drawing and making to explore the ceilings and ideas of value, raw materials and time.

Re-cycled clay from former works were combined with new raw clay in a site-specific installation Duties created for the Custom House stairwell as a contemporary response to the building’s 17th century botanical plaster ceilings.​ 

Her time-based installation remained on display through June and July, gradually shape-shifting, shrinking, cracking, breaking and turning to dust, with an accompanying exhibition of clay fragments and works on paper. 

About Phoebe Cummings

Winner of the British Ceramics Biennial Award (2011) and Woman’s Hour Craft Prize (2017), Phoebe was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Brighton School of Arts in 2019 and is Research Associate at the Ceramics Research Centre UK, University of Westminster.

Part of a pilot programme of artistic interventions curated by Honeyscribe for Exeter Custom House.
Generously funded by Exeter Canal and Quay Trust

Back to Residencies.

Special Public Events

Wednesday 25 May (6.30-7.30pm)The Poetics of Clay
Discussion event between Phoebe Cummings and writer Jane Pugh on the significance of clay and making site-specific work that responds to place. In collaboration with Literature Works as part of their Quay Words programme

Friday 27 - Sunday 29 May (10am-4.30pm)
Drop in sessions to meet Phoebe as she created new work in the Custom House 


Saturday 11 June (2pm-5pm): Look up
Honeyscribe's Artistic Director Amy Shelton and Naome Glanville from the University of Exeter hosted an afternoon of making and informal conversation celebrating the new artwork by Phoebe Cummings. 
Generously supported by Arts & Culture University of Exeter for Artweek Exeter

25-29 May 2022
Phoebe Cummings in residence

30 May - 24 July 2022
Installation (Stairwell)
Exhibition of clay studies and works on paper (Surveyor's Office)

Exeter Custom House, 46 The Quay
Open daily 10am-5pm Free entry

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