Top Ten Collect Picks by seam

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:

  1. Exquiste brooches by Hea-lim Shin (top)
  2. Park Sung Wook’s abstract wall piece that looks stunning both from a distance and from close up (above)
  3. Poetic tapestries marking time through Jilly Edwards’ studio window – unusually Jilly encouraged us to touch (and check out her gorgeous book Joy) (below)
  4. Mella Shaw’s heart-breaking piece on plastics in the ocean
  5. Seo-Yeon Park’s porcelain tableware based on colours and shapes from Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings
  6. Beautifully subtle still life works celebrating the skill, dexterity and the creative problem solving of people who make things Emily Jo Gibbs
  7. Gorgeous indigo monochrome by Eun Lee
  8. Oma Space contemplate the three stages of life with stunning textures
  9. Kazuhito Takadoi understated, meditative object beautifully formed from natural materials
  10. 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?

Penny Wheeler

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.




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