. . a cornucopia of all that's quirky, creative and new . .
Many of the objects displayed at this year’s Collect 2011, an unmissable event in the international calendar for contemporary applied artists, seemed to me to celebrate the organic and the playful, with much work involving a sense of self-reflection too.
Unlike many of the crafts events I go to, COLLECT is more about the artistic application of arts and crafts, showcasing an interesting mix of objects with sculptural and artistic value – rather than, perhaps, more accessible practical use.
Wall piece by Merete Rasmussen.
One of my favourite exhibiting artists was Merete Rasmussen, represented by The Scottish Gallery. Her alluring sculptural wall pieces, made from stoneware, were big, bold and colourful. This, in stark contrast to the fragile nature of the unfired forms, and the tricky process presumably involved in creating them. Merete explores the idea of continuous form and negative space – the result being the flowing organic aesthetic of these beautiful sculptural ceramics.
There was an unescapable sense of playfulness and experimentation in much of the jewellery on display, from the alien forms of Adam Paxon‘s hand-carved acrylic jewellery, represented by Adrian Sassoon, to the oversized coiled rope necklaces of Eleanor Bolton, represented by The Electrum Gallery (both pictured below).
Brooch by Adam Paxon.
Coiled Rope Necklace from Eleanor Bolton’s Blue Collection.
Finally, I must mention two highlights – this stupendous super-size vase by Felicity Aylieff (note colour coordination!)….
…and the Living Wall installation upstairs in the Project Space, by Rosa Nguyen, which drew on the Japanese art of flower display, Ikebana. It featured a composition of abstract glass and ceramic vessels used to display an ever-changing collection of fresh and preserved flowers and plants (excuse amateur photos below!).
What a great time we are in, when words such as BOLD, PLAYFUL, COLOURFUL and ORGANIC, sum up the work of those busy ‘creating’ at the cutting edge of the contemporary arts and crafts world. I’ve given you just a tiny snapshot of the wonderful work at this year’s COLLECT, but hope to feature some more of the exhibiting artists over time.
Thank you Crafts Council for such a treat of an event!