Collect is one of the major selling exhibitions of contemporary craft in the world. This year Crafts Council has chosen to relocate the show from the Saatchi Gallery to Somerset House.
The beautiful setting and wonderful collection of rooms make it a great venue. Twenty five nations had created stunning work to display in individual gallery rooms.
I am always so excited by the beautiful work on show at Collect. Most of the galleries were happy for photographs to be taken. And, as usual, I was like a kid in a sweet shop trying to snap it all up. Sadly this post would be far too long to show it all – so I have edited this down to what are my personal highlights. Creations from artists in glass, ceramics, metal, wood and mixed media that I found either captivating, or intriguing.
The exhibition was split into three areas the south, east and west wing. As I was keen to see the glass at Gallery Sklo, I headed straight to the South wing on the first floor.
Glass is such a beautiful medium. Nothing compares with its ability to create gorgeous illuminated colours one moment and subtle translucent tones the next. I am not familiar with all the different glass making processes. But, nevertheless, I am always overwhelmed by the beautiful creations that can be achieved.
At Korean, Gallery Sklo – I was totally in awe of the beautiful core-cast glass creations, by Namdoo Kim. His ‘Last City’ and ‘Expendable Being’ pieces, both evoked emotion and curiosity at the same time.
Subtle colour vessels in blown and cold-worked glass by Joon-yong Kim at Sklo Gallery. Ki-ra Kim at Gallery WANNMUL demonstrating how glass can be used to create two dimensional, still life, graphic images.
Eun-Suh Choi’s ‘Conscius Pot IX’ sculpture in flame-worked glass is a delicate, creative curiosity. Contrasting with this is the work of Irish artist, Laura Quinn, at North Lands Creative. Her ‘Flop Vessel’ is a mixture of lamp-worked glass and water jet cut silicone, nylon. Making the piece malleable – a contrast of soft and spiky.
It was interesting to see Elliot Walker’s creation for Collect at Vessel Gallery. Elliot produces exquisite, refined, still life works. This year he has moved away from his bright vivid pallet to producing two still life groups in clear glass. Inspired by Dutch still life paintings, his work is modelled from cooling liquid glass. Capturing a frozen moment in time as the glass sets.
Joanna Manousis at Bulleye Projects is a British-American artist, working in glass and mixed-media. Here we have her ‘Bottled Pear’ in glass and bronze.
Silver & Gold
Also presented at Vessel Gallery: Hanne Enemark and Louis Thompson showing ‘Ore Genesis’ in grey and weimaraner – glass with gold lustre. Translucent, geometric, linear, perfect forms by Danish, Karin Morch. And, in contrast, the organic, glossy, metal coated glass forms, of Lithuanian artist Remigijus Kriukas.
Glass and more . . .
‘Bells of Digitalis’ – wearable sculpture by Laura Quinn at North Lands Creative. Hand-blown, foxglove, glass bells, in a copper and rubber framework. Also, at North Lands Creative, Romanian artist, Alexandra Muresan. Her sculptural pieces are recycled glass fused with metals. At Widell Projects, these unusual candlesticks in blown-glass and silver are by Jenny Edlund and Matilde Kastel.
At Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections I find it very hard not to want to take endless photographs of Steffen Dam’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. My photographs can never do his beautiful creations justice. However, I am so inspired by them I cannot fail to include them every year. Also hard to capture were James Maskrey’s decanters at North Lands Creative. With disturbing images emerging from inside. Not sure if they are depicting the evils of drink, or if that’s just my imagination.
Anne Patters at Bulleye projects. Using a technique, based on pate de verre. Shaping glass whilst in the kiln, to form rippled sheets. The sheets of paper and leaves take on the appearance of frozen ice, freezing moments in time.
Another great display of glass this year at London Glass Blowing: Anthony Scala showing his new work ‘Nexus’, the Pyramids of Peter Layton and the elegant ‘Birds Series’ of Bruce Marks.
More from London Glass Blowing: David Penso, Bruno Romanelli, Tim Rawlinson and Louis Thompson.
Colourful work at Vessel Gallery: Hanne Enemark- showing Cristalline Starburst, Katherine Huskie with ‘Ostreum and Samantha Donaldson’s Chromatic Vugs
It was good to see Vanessa Hogge at Vessel Gallery. Showing her exquisite, sculpted porcelain ‘Efflorence’ series. Valeria Nascimento, also showing porcelain wall sculptures at Jaggedart .
Cube Gallery again this year were showing Nam An Myung’s colourful ‘Eye Series’. Individual sculptured and glazed ceramics. Alverston Fine Arts Ltd had these bright red and blue creations, by Grannie Watts. Grainne uses hand forming and throwing techniques to create her perfectly formed ceramics. In her ‘Bindu series’ she uses under glazes to create colours and patterns that vibrantly pulsate.
Australian artist Pippin Drysdale’s finely crafted porcelain vessels are inspired by her native landscape. Frances Priest’s vessels are inspired by decorative designs in mosaic, stone carving and enamel. ‘Kiseki’ at Savoire-faire des Takumi by Fuko Hayashi.
Losing their heads… (trend alert!)
Matt Smiths work at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery has stylised, classical, figurines with contemporary egg heads. At Madeinbritaly
all the porcelain figurines by Andrea Salvatori were adorned with pot heads. Could this be a new trend – is this the end of the head as we know it!
The Enigmatic and Surreal
Intriguing are the rabbit ceramics by Maria Murayama at Japanese/French collaborative projects at Savoir-Faire des Takumi.
Enigmatic, ceramic figures from Cube gallery by Gary Betts. An English sculptor currently working on a Barge on the Thames. His ‘Brothers’ are sculpted in Porcelain. His ‘Woman with Drawers’ sculpture is created in Jesmonite.
David Clarke at Gallery S O showing classic bird figurines in ceramic and pewter. Richard Slee with his ceramic fire Bucket. Anna Athena showing her ‘River of Childhood’ wall sculpture at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery
Wax and Bronze
This year the James Freeman Gallery looks stunning with a solo show of work from Rebecca Stevenson. On the theme of Memento Mori. A wonderful collection of works in wax and bronze. North Lands Creative showing the amazing glass sculptures of Martin Janecky.
WOOD & WILLOW
Eleanor Lakelin at Qest Craft with her New Echoes of Amphora ‘Column Vessel’. At Jaggedart a vignette displaying ‘Burnt Land Jar’ by Forest & Found. ‘Unconfined’ by Lauren Ellen Bacon is made from Somerset willow. Beautiful wood carving at Cube Gallery by Bulgarian sculptor, Daniel Mirchev.
Hamish Dobbie at Craft Scotland with his silver quarried beaker and decanter. The Duck wine Vessels by Naamah Haneman at ESH Gallery. In sterling silver and plated brass. German, Peter Bauhuis, combines silver and brass in his moulds to produce a painterly effect on his vessels.
Italian, Laurent Stocker, at ESH Gallery forges and hammers his copper vessels. Making them so thin and light, that a gentle blow of breath, can make them quiver and roll. Adi Toch at The Joanna Bird Contemporary Collection creates beautiful Patinated hollow vessels and containers.
Collect Open had selected these interesting artists to high-light. Jacky Oliver’s work is called ‘Field to Fork’. She brings a variety of metal processes together. Creating artworks that represent the provenance of the fruit and vegetables we eat. The carbon footprint of their production and transportation.
Lucie Gledhill and Kasia Wozniak had come together to work on project ‘Swap’. Their collaboration featuring nitric acid. The means by which they can ‘swap’ silver from chain to photograph.
Cecille Levy from Sweden gives old, unwanted books a second chance of life. Making these delicate paper sculptures at Widell Projects. Whilst Thurle Wright, at Jaggedarts, creates her work with pages from the English Dictionary.
Ugandan, Sanaa Gateja, has another approach at using paper. He started a centre 22 years ago in Kampala, to research, innovate and create art. Using easily available materials. He trains mainly rural communities in skills using Art to fight poverty. His innovation of recycling paper to produce beads has spread throughout East African communities. Providing a livelihood to as many as 50,000 people.
FURNITURE – (trend alert!)
Whilst Collect is an exhibition that only shows a limited amount of furniture. I am always on the look out to discover any new ideas and trends emerging. At Mint it was surprising to see glass used as table legs. It’s not very often you see such a fragile material supporting a heavy table-top. It’s also interesting to note the abstract patchwork effect of wood/veneer on the table top. Could this be the start of a new furniture trend?
And yet more of the Bizarre…
Iguana a mixed media sculpture by Dorcas Casey at Quest . A creation of Ottoman and Jesmonite. And finally, (something you never knew you wanted) – a Snogging Machine! Created by Matilda Kastel at Widell Project. Sculpted from her and her partner’s tongues – just turn the handle and the tongues will collide.
And finally …
I and so glad you managed to stay with me until the end!
There was still so much more to see and so many photographs I just haven’t had time to show.
It’s worth checking out some of my previous Blogs for Artists that you may have missed. Such as Margo Selby on our London Craft week Blog and work from some of the other great Glass Artists on our British Glass Biennale post. Just click on the links below.