Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We caught the last day of Craft Council's Collect exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery on Monday and
boy am I glad we got in to see it before it closed. I would love to collect a few of the pieces on show but alas will just have to look longingly at their websites in the meantime.

Below are a few of the artists that were standouts for me. I was taken in by the colours, patterns and textures of their works so although they are seemingly simple in their shape and form there's a lot going on when you get up real close.

Steffen Dam - Cabinet of glass curiosities. From afar his jars and glass cabinets seem to hold delicate aquatic specimens frozen behind the glass. Instead each piece is exquisitely rendered entirely in glass using a variety of techniques with some effects created through glass blowing processes that are traditionally seen as mistakes or faults.

"During my first ten years of glass making I was practicing and experimenting with all the different techniques to become a good craftsman. While doing so, I discovered a new kind of beauty in the fringes of the well crafted glass I was making. In the area of mistakes and faults - the unwanted air bubbles,
ash marks, soot, cracks and crookedness - I found something that cannot be predicted or sketched beforehand. I set the established and traditional techniques aside and started making glass all "wrong" in an attempt to capture the good in the bad. Out of these experiments came the "Fossils", "Plants" and other objects - like frozen extracts of chaos to be watched undisturbed" - Artist statement from exhibition.

Maryrose Watson - Textile geometry and reflections of light. I loved the colours and intersecting lines that caught the light in her works. And I like how they were presented. It may seem like a simple element, a formality at the end of the creative process, but framing and the choice of mounting can really enhance a piece. It's something I don't really think about enough when I'm creating work but it ends up being a very important element when the piece is finished and on display. In Maryrose's works the woven threads wrap around heavy oak frames which are then mounted onto a second layer of oak. Giving the impression that they are suspended - floating on the wall.

Liam Flynn - Turned wooden vessels. Very beautiful and exquisite pieces, I could happily stare at one for hours and be absorbed by all the quiet details in the grain of the wood. These were some of the pieces I was itching to run my hands over!

Philip Moulthrop - Beautiful patterns and colours laid bare. Loved the splashes of unexpected colour and the intricate patterns uncovered in the wood.

David Pottinger - Woven patterns rendered in clay. Since ca and I go crazy over woven textiles normally it's no wonder we love Melbourne artist's David Pottinger's ceramic pieces whose patterned surfaces evoke the texture and detail of textile pieces. Here is an interview and studio visit posted on
The Design Files.

Jack Doherty - Ceramic alchemy. "One Clay, One Colouring, One Firing" a restrictive process but
the works themselves had a variance in colour and texture that belied this technique.

Jennifer Lee - Ceramics. It's difficult to put into words the beauty of Jennifer Lee's work, there's a
quiet quality to them that does not shout out and call attention to itself which is perhaps why I'm struggling. What I love about them is that each one looks perfect, the balance and their delicate forms seeming in contrast to the rough and subdued earthen texture of the clay.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Thanks for highlighting the standout artists from the exhibition - it's lovely to find out about talented artisans and craftspeople and why you liked their work in particular. Jack Doherty's statement about his work is really soulful.

I am excitedly following all your adventures in far off lands. May each day bring you new surprises and stories.