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Rod Bamford to Join the RCA as Head of Ceramics & Glass

The Royal College of Art has announced the appointment of Roderick Bamford as its new Head of Ceramics & Glass.

Currently Senior Lecturer in the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Rod Bamford works across the fields of art and design. As practitioner and researcher he draws on experience in the field of ceramics, digital media technologies, and related media. His ceramic artworks investigate the ethics and aesthetics of tension between development, redundancy and waste, a persistent theme in his practice. A member of the RCA’s Digital Craft Network, Rod’s current research extends this discourse to explore relationships between natural and technologically encountered experience and an interest in ethical paradoxes around creative agency and consumption in art and design.

In 2015 Rod received an Australia Indonesia Special Project Grant for the Digital Bamboo collaborative research project and exhibitions in Bandung and Sydney’s UNSW Galleries. In 2014 he was one of eight artists included in the groundbreaking HYPERCLAY national touring exhibition, selected for their experimental approaches to the medium, and was appointed as ‘Key Thinker’ for the Australian Craft Initiative. 

Professor Naren Barfield, Pro-Rector said: 'I am delighted that Rod Bamford has agreed to lead Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art. Rod encompasses the full range of creative practice, professional and industry engagement, excellence in teaching and research, and international perspectives, that will enable C&G to develop over the coming years. With an emphasis on making and material, I know that he will fully exploit the College’s excellent facilities, housed in our new building which has been generously supported by the Woo family. What makes Rod's appointment so exciting is his combination of research approaches – from traditional to digital – that perfectly capture not only the legacy of the programme, but also mark out an exciting, global future.'

Professor Judith Mottram, Dean of the School of Material, added: 'Rod impressed us with his passion for the discipline, deep subject knowledge and breadth of experience. He will be a tremendous asset to the School and the College as Head of Ceramics & Glass, and I look forward to him developing new areas of intellectual activity alongside our tremendous expertise on studio-based work.'

Rod Bamford said: 'The RCA’s Ceramics & Glass programme is unparalleled, as evidenced so clearly by its acclaimed graduates, its world-leading research and its impact on culture and industry. I’m honoured to accept the post and I very much look forward to working with students and colleagues both within the programme and across the School of Material, and to encourage diverse ambitions in practice and research across our field.'

Bamford’s research includes the investigation of process aesthetics and its influence on our emotional relationships with material form. A model synthesising qualitative and quantitative design criteria to promote dematerialisation and production agility has been applied to commercial projects including ‘The Cup Suite’ and ‘Liberare La Forma’ ranges of porcelain tableware, manufactured by Monno Ceramics, Bangladesh, and distributed by Manfredi Enterprises (2000–10).

He uses traditional and emerging digital recording, fabrication and imaging technologies to test the notion of ‘trans-media’ objects. His artwork ‘Sonic Loop’, included as part of the Australian World Expo Pavilion exhibit in Shanghai 2010, explored computer modelling and 3D printing to embody the abstracted expression of musical data in a physical porcelain form.

Bamford has been awarded commissions and residencies, participated in exhibitions and presented lectures internationally. His work is represented in major collections, including the Powerhouse museum and the National Galleries of Australia and Victoria, and museum collections in Europe, North Asia and the USA. While President of the Crafts Council of New South Wales Rod lead the establishment of the respected journal ObjectMagazine

Rod Bamford joins the College in January 2017.