An Insight into Works at Collect 2019

Collect 2019: The International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design took place in London’s Saatchi Gallery last month. As an insight into the works and makers presented at this event we asked AAS board member Stefanie Cheong and AAS advisor Helen Voce to select three works that caught their eye.

Each took a different approach to this. Helen loosely considered ‘what is the maker’s mark?’ while Stefanie focused on the theme of sustainable materials. Here are their choices along with a few words on why they selected them and which organisation or gallery presented the work.

Woo-son Cheon, Fill and Empty 0218, 2018, copper, iron, silver solder, polyurethane coated (Korean Craft & Design Foundation)
Gareth Neal, Hack Chair 2, 2019, carved green-oak (Sarah Myerscough)
Ismini Samanidou, Traverse and Field, 2019, paper, silk, handwoven (Petronilla Silver)

Helen’s Choice:

‘The moiré pattern of Woo-son Cheon‘s Fill and Empty 0218, experienced as you approach and walk around the piece, first caught my eye. The precision of the piece’s graphic structure, subtly highlighted by the choice of differing metal elements, caused me linger and inspect the piece, it’s form, construction and the maker’s skill. What I took away from this work was a different way of viewing the classical, ceramic moon jars exhibited at Collect.’

‘Always intrigued and indeed delighted to see new work by Gareth Neal, the Hack Chair 2 was always going to catch my eye. The charred oak piece was passionately brought to life by Gareth’s story of researching and making the chair at the Technology in Contemporary Craft talk. His creative rigour, exploration and marriage of digital and hand tools / processes, and pursuit of risk is strongly evident in the chair. You can watch a short film about the creation here.’

‘The first weaving artist-in-residence at the Jose and Anni Albers Foundation in 2014, Ismini Samanidou‘s most recent delicate and detailed woven pieces provided a monochromatic moment to pause and appreciate the skill of the weaver. Contemporary craftspeople’s dialogue with their predecessors exemplifies the continuum of craft and the respect and value practitioners observe in their and others’ crafts. The exploration of process, skill and technique in pursuit of development and creativity. This was only made more prominent having paused to study Peter Collingwood’s 3D woven works on Oxford Ceramics Gallery’s stand before Ismini’s. I only wish I had managed to get along to the Anni Albers’ major respective at Tate Modern to see one of the looms Ismini restored and the film of her weaving on it.’

Louis Thompson and Sophie Thomas, Seven Stages of Degradation, 2018, hand blown waste – glass and found Ocean plastic (as part of Collect Open)
Angus Ross, Spey Bench, 2019, Scottish ash (Craft Scotland)
Lizzie Farey, Willow Works (Craft Scotland)

Stefanie’s Choice:

‘Seven Stages of Degradation by Louis Thompson and Sophie Thomas is an interesting collaboration that not only uses carefully selected materials to produce it but uses the material as theme to explore and discuss the challenges faced by plastic pollution. Viewed more as an installation than individual crafted works the pieces are like ghost objects drawing from the forms of household plastics with various coloured inclusions.’

Angus Ross uses local and sustainable ash grown in a forest that he co owns on the banks of the River Tay. He helps ethically manage the forest so understands the environment and work required to nurture the growth of the wood used in his furniture making. He fuses contemporary techniques with steam bending to produce flawlessly crafted pieces that echo the environment that surrounds him.’

Lizzie Farey‘s practice sounds like a ritual, planting, tending and harvesting her materials in the rural setting of Galloway. Bringing influences form Japan she creates organic sculptural forms from willow, birch and heather. The wall pieces on show at collect were minimal yet Lizzie managed to draw with the willow to produce energetic works that were quiet but impactful.’

Discover more about Collect and the other works at the event.

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