Troika began as a commercial pottery in March 1963. It was set up by potter Benny Sirota, sculptor Leslie Illsley and architect Jan Thompson.
Over time Troika’s work changed from functional craft objects to conceptual stand-alone pieces of sculpture, extending the ideas and practise of sculpture into the medium of clay. The use of clay at Troika meant they, as artists, had access to a medium of creation. By mass producing their output, they were able to allow more people access to the ownership of art objects. A process that is now known as 'the democratisation of art.'
By 1970 the business had outgrown it's humble studio in St Ives and moved to Newlyn in order to continue it's expansion. Troika has had a major impact upon local history both as a creator and as an employer. Troika 63-83 will attempt to highlight the importance of these later years. It was in Newlyn that the highly unique textured range became fully developed and it was here that Troika produced work in such quantity that they were able to become the household name that they are today.
Although it is easy to see Benny and Leslie alone as the force which moulded Troika's journey through two decades, it is important to recognise the others who influenced their history. To see Troika as a group we also need to understand the contributions made by those people who joined the collective; the casters, fettlers, decorators, and those who bought the work they produced. Troika 63-83 intends to highlight this group dynamic and show work produced by many different hands.