‘Clock – George Brown Series’


For this series. Dr. Christopher McHugh was inspired the George Brown Collection, an assemblage of over 3000 ethnographic items collected by the Barnard Castle-born missionary while he was in the South Pacific. George Brown donated the collection to Bowes Museum, and it was later acquired by Newcastle University. Controversially, it was sold to the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, in 1986. In 2013, I was awarded an AHRC international placement to research the collection in Japan. The series aims to materialise the complex and contested history of this ethnographic collection, reputedly one of the world’s most mobile. The form of these vessels references the collection’s Solomon Island lime containers, which are made from bamboo and decorated with poker work.


Mediums: porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media. Measurements: approx. 17.5 x 14 x 10.5 cm.

Photo: Jo Howell, 2016

Artist Bio

Dr Christopher McHugh studied archaeology at the universities of Durham (BA, 1998) and Cambridge (MPhil, 2000). In 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Ceramics from the University of Sunderland.


Christopher’s practice-led ceramics research explores the relationship between artistic and archaeological methodologies, often focusing on archives, museum collections and communities. He publishes and exhibits internationally, and his work has recently been shown as part of the RUA Annual Show (2021), Ceramics Ireland’s Triennial (2020) and the British Ceramics Biennial (2019). His work is held in public collections in Ireland (Irish State Art Collection) and Japan (Seto Art Museum).