Tracey Rowledge

Artists Tracey Rowledge and David Clarke in the workshop.
Tracey Rowledge and David Clarke both hammering plaster from a cast figurine in the workshop.
Photo: C Sexton

Tracey and I have a long history of working together, dating back to 2009 when we joined forces and initiated a collaborative group called 60|40. When the two of us come together on a project, work isn’t divided into separate tasks or disciplines, however, it is both intense and challenging. Still, we trust each other and value the opportunity to learn as we develop new work.

“We make together what we are not able to do individually, and the collaborative process allows us to discover new materials, form, scale and subject matter.”

More recently, our focus has been on undertaking residencies and actively seeking opportunities that provide us with a period of concentrated time together. This approach enables us to explore new thinking and uncharted territories and to embrace risk. Two examples of this approach in action are ROOM, funded by the Arts Council England (ACE), and SHELVED, part of a significant cultural regeneration project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

About Tracey Rowledge
Tracey Rowledge lives and works in the UK. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London, and Fine Bookbinding and Conservation at Guildford College of Further and Higher Education, Surrey, UK.

“There is an essential paradox that distinguishes Rowledge’s work, as her practice straddles fine art and the applied art of bookbinding. Drawing and materiality also play important roles in her work, and it is the coexistence of these two ways of thinking that informs the infinitely subtle judgements she is known for.”
Emma Hill, Eagle Gallery

More about Tracey Rowledge


First presented at Collect Open, hosted at Saatchi Gallery, London, ROOM literally represents a bigger ambition in terms of scale. It is the largest work either of us has produced together to date.
'ROOM' installed at Saatchi Gallery, London with vistors viewing the work in the gallery space.

Year 2019

The installation was comprised of a large, suspended and backlit ceiling panel. This was constructed using historical postcards depicting European locations; each postcard was perforated with tiny holes to illuminate the space below.

Underneath the ceiling and presented on a striking green plinth were two cast figures confined within painted Victorian glass domes. Made by casting into traditional ceramic figurines and then smashed free, these figures boldly inhabit the space. ROOM provided a rare opportunity to explore the vocabulary of installation in an applied arts context.

“Objects alone don’t make a room, although we are always tempted on entering a new room to examine its contents, surreptitiously if we are visiting someone’s home, but openly if we are in a gallery.”

Linda Sandino

2 cast pewter figures under hand-painted Victorian glass domes, part of 'Room' installation.

Material Glass, Pewter, Acrylic Paint
Installation Detail
Year 2019


Complete view of 'ROOM' installed at Collect Open 2019 Saatchi Gallery, London.

Material   Postcards, Fraynot and Bookbinding Cloth, Gemini Board, Glass, Pewter, Acrylic Paint
Installation Dimensions   232 x 120 x 354cm
Year   2019


Shelved exhibition poster showing 2 cast figures standing on painted jam jars.


In 2018, with the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s support, we undertook a 1-year residency at Tunbridge Wells Art Gallery, Museum, Library and Adult Education Centre. During our time there, we had the opportunity to search through the archives, explore local history and engage with the community and staff across the whole organisation.

As part of our investigations, we delighted in unpacking and exposing hidden gems and struck gold when we came across boxes of ‘Unclaimed Enquiries’ hidden in the archives. We were really captivated by these artefacts that had been brought in for identification by members of the public but then never reclaimed.


“Here were objects existing in a kind of limbo, not part of the museum collection but unable to be legally disposed of … abandoned like the pets at a dogs and cats home, these objects were waiting for a new life.”

Louise Taylor, former Director, Crafts Council



Landed Gentry (Detail)
Material   Painted Glass Jar and Pewter
Dimensions   12 x 16 x 18cm
Year   2018
Location   Multiple Private Collections
A few available



Cafe installation with 4 objects and a drawing in oak book cases.

Material   Ceramic, Glass, Paper, Wax, Plasti-Dip, Graphite, Wood
Dimensions   15 x 15x 15cm
Year   2018
Location   Multiple Private Collections, UK
 A few available


'Zoo' on display  at the Dogs Trust charity shop, part of the Shelved exhibition.
'Zoo' stacked ceramic animals held by rubber bands, installed at the Dogs Trust charity shop.

Material   Ceramic, Rubber, Wood, Metal
Dimensions 12 x 16 x 18cm
Year   2018

Zoo is an assemblage of animals stacked and held within stretched rubber bands. Each object is held in tension but waiting to see how long it can stay in place before tumbling to the ground. Zoo was displayed in The Dogs Trust charity shop, where the items were originally purchased.

Limbo brings together a herd of bygone souvenirs, held in suspension, to create a graceful tension that allows the viewer to see the animals from every aspect. This constrained balancing act highlights what we choose to collect and freezes them in a moment in time.

Displaying the piece in the Portrait Gallery gave us the perfect location. Surrounded by paintings of the aristocracy who would have enjoyed their Grand Tour travels, returning with their own mementoes to remind them of the countries they had once visited.

 'Limbo', wooden antelopes in a vitrine at Tunbridge Wells Museum.

Limbo (Detail)
Material   Wood
Dimensions  50 x50 x 50cm
Year   2018

'Limbo', vitrine with antelopes and portrait paintings in the background.


'Lost Souls', old leather shoe soles with carbon lines, hung with a single gold tack.
'Lost Souls' installed on a wall in the Reference Library, Tunbridge Wells.

Lost Souls started life as used leather soles retrieved from Paul the local cobblers’ rubbish bin, and kindly donated to us. This waste became our working material and challenged our usual ways of approaching bookbinding and silversmithing.

The tooled lines were intended to suggest journeys taken by the previous owners of the soles, and us, as visitors to Tunbridge Wells. Each sole was attached to the library wall (above the local area maps) using a single gold tack.


Lost Souls
Material   Leather, Black Carbon, 9 Carat Gold
Dimensions   400 x 18 x 10cm
Year   2017
Location   Multiple Private Collections, UK
A few available

'Housed', an installation displayed in the Reference Library at Tunbridge Wells.

Housed was created using pewter rubbings taken directly from second-hand ornaments. Each one was then cut at different angles to expose the trace of the object within, in all its detail. The notion of a ‘box’ was then heightened with the application of the leather covering.

'Housed' made of pewter rubbings encased in Japanese paper and Nigerian goat skin.

Material   Pewter, Goat Skin, Japanese Paper
Dimensions   42 x 26 x 6cm
Year   2018
Location   Dallas Museum of Art, USA

Greetings From Tunbridge Wells was created using postcards depicting scenes from the town, which had been a fashionable spa resort from the mid-1700s, though its popularity as a spa destination decreased with the advent of sea bathing.

These postcards were assembled as a grid and altered by repeatedly punching through the surface, reminiscent of the pin-prick pictures we discovered in the museum’s stored collections.

Greetings from Tunbridge Wells
Material   Paper
Dimensions   96 x 65 x 10cm
Year   2017

 'Greetings from Tunbridge Wells', made from postcards of the town with a pin pricked surface.
'Greetings from Tunbridge Wells', old postcards with pin prick holes in a frame.