One of the advantages of being in a collective is group trips to exhibitions with like-minded friends. One such trip was to the Craft Council International Art Fair for contemporary objects, Collect, held from 22-25 February 2018. seam members Angie Parker, Joy Merron, Kate Bond, Linda Row, Gill Hewitt and me, Penny Wheeler all had a great time, being inspired by the work, seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
I didn’t realise how similar our tastes are until I asked everyone for their top six picks from the show… I wonder what came first: our particular sensibility that made us gravitate to textiles, or that working with textiles honed our taste in a particular way?
Not so many textile pieces in the show (as usual), colour used sparingly but lots of texture – our top ten picks from Collect are¹:
- Exquiste brooches by Hea-lim Shin (top)
- Park Sung Wook’s abstract wall piece that looks stunning both from a distance and from close up (above)
- Poetic tapestries marking time through Jilly Edwards’ studio window – unusually Jilly encouraged us to touch (and check out her gorgeous book Joy) (below)
- Mella Shaw’s heart-breaking piece on plastics in the ocean
- Seo-Yeon Park’s porcelain tableware based on colours and shapes from Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings
- Beautifully subtle still life works celebrating the skill, dexterity and the creative problem solving of people who make things Emily Jo Gibbs
- Gorgeous indigo monochrome by Eun Lee
- Oma Space contemplate the three stages of life with stunning textures
- Kazuhito Takadoi understated, meditative object beautifully formed from natural materials
- Mystical creatures captured in glass jars by Steffen Dam
Other notable objects and artists at Collect were Pierre Renart’s elegant twist of a table, silk ikat hangings by Jun Tomita, the bamboo structures of Chikuusai IV Tanabe, beaded works by Ntombephi Ntobela, beautiful use of an unusual natural material – acacia thorns by Ran Adler, gorgeously rumpled fabric-like pots by Ranti Bam, and who can resist (and be slightly disturbed by) a bird with a train? by Afke Golsteijn (if you are of squeamish disposition don’t follow the link).
Research doesn’t end with just taking a photo of your favourite pieces. I have found that it is always rewarding noting the names of the artists and digging further. A quick google of the artist names reveals more exciting work and insights into their thinking. For example: Ntombephi Ntobela is the leader of the all female collective, South African Ubhule Art Collective. This collective supports women to develop their skills in beading and become financially independent – how great is that?
If you like any of the works do check out the links I have added.
Did you visit Collect this year? What were your favourite pieces?
1. Note: If you hover over an image with your mouse the caption will pop-up, and if you click on an image you can see it full size, with its caption, in a slide show.