Monday, 12 May 2014

My visit to Collect 2014

I went to see the Crafts Council show called Collect 2014 at the Saatchi Gallery.

This seems to be the very high end of crafts, where they turn into art, and the stalls mostly belonged to galleries, or sometimes representing a particular country. Of course it was a bit of an intense experience, which I cannot digest all at once, but these are my first impressions. It was clear that some galleries were not happy with people taking photos, so these are photos taken with permission. Which left a lot of beautiful things that are not in this blog.

First, the textiles pieces. Here are a few of the pieces that illuminated my thinking about this assignment.

Ismini Samanidu exhibit at the Wills Lane Gallery stall
 These were fascinating pieces woven with thread, giving the detail a fineness that you can't achieve with normal tapestry yarns. There was of course an immediate relevance to what I am doing on this course. 

Dorothee van Beisen at the WCC-BF Gallery
 Hand stitched imitation leather and satin. Inspired by armour and gladiators.
A second skin revealing some and concealing other things.

This large folded piece by Angela Fung was hanging from the ceiling of the cafe.

This made me think that I should take the advice of my tutor and look at a book about folding techniques and their shadow-pattern effects.

I love the scale of it.
Tobias Mohl,  glass, Adrian Sassoon gallery
Great to see some of the same ideas making
beautiful things in other crafts.
This one is so relevant to this theme.

This is the very end of a long embroidered narrrative wall piece, like a Bayeaux tapestry but contemporary in black grey white and red only. By Virginie Rochetti, and displayed by the Collction Ateliers d'Art France, which seems to be a sort of collective organsation for craftspeople.

The limited palate, free hand drawing and some computer-aided images had an interesting effect of making this look like a sketchbook.

It made me want to try more free-machine sewing.

It was very 2D, though, and not really relevant to my current course.

This piece by Kyoko Kumai could hardly be more relevant -
A study of the effects of light on woven stainless steel panels,
and their effects on the light. Beautiful and skillful.
Katie Jones gallery.

And these delicate bowls caught my eye too - along with their reflections.
Made by Guy van Lempert, (Terra Delft ceramics gallery),
who learns from nature how to make strong structures
with the least possible material.  

There were several artists exhibiting who I had been interested in and investigated before, including Alice Kettle (whose piece was so much more intricate and powerful in real life than any of the reproductions I had seen of her work before); Audrey Walker; Lewis Thompson with his colletions of glass jars for intriguing organic-looking delicate things; Jean Opgenhaffen 'a strange movement in a simple way' demonstrated with subtle changes in the angles of slates; and the very quiet and beautiful woven photographic hanging by Ainsley Hillard.

As well as the galleries, there was a Project Space for several well-known craftspeople to show a series of pieces each. I went on the day when Jilly Edwards talked about her new yellow tapestries (a change from her previous blue series), and also went to a workshop where another of the exhibitors, Heidi Harrington, spoke about the nuts and bolts of how her career has developed, followed by a similar talk from Rebecca Gouldson, a metalwork artist. These were good talks for me at this stage, as I have been starting to think about what it might take to one day sell something I have made.

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