Craft Now

Artichokes, China and ‘acerbic narratives’ are among the influences informing the work of contemporary craftspeople, if a new show in Gateshead is anything to believe.

Tunes of Glory by Michael Brennand Wood.
Tunes of Glory by Michael Brennand Wood.

The Craft Now exhibition opens at Gateshead’s Shipley Art Gallery next month, and brings together new work in glass, ceramics and textiles from the likes of Michael Brennand Wood, Felicity Aylieff and quilt artist Pauline Burbridge.

Golden Bowl by Rachael Woodman.
Golden Bowl by Rachael Woodman.

Much of the work takes a traditional aesthetic but executes it in a new and playful way, such as the Wedgewouldn’t Tureen by Michael Eden:

Wedgewouldn't Tureen by Michael Eden
Wedgewouldn’t Tureen by Michael Eden

The work takes the shape and form of a traditional Wedgewood piece, but was created digitally using rapid prototyping in plaster and gypsum.

Barnaby Barford also plays with tradition for the modern day, as shown in his Family Feast which takes kitsch found ceramics and shows them to be reverently serving up plates of chips:

Family Feast by Barnaby Barford
Family Feast by Barnaby Barford

And Gareth Neal has looked to the Queen Anne Chair for his reinvention, taking the iconic shape and coating it in thin strips of wood, creating a surreal interpretation that is only truly revealed in certain lights and at particular angles.

Queen Anne Chair by Gareth Neal
Queen Anne Chair by Gareth Neal

Jeweller Nora Fok is the aforementioned maker looking to artichokes for her work, creating the Million Dollar Collaris created entirely from the seed heads of artichokes.

Craft Now runs from 31 May – 20 December at Shipley Art Gallery, Prince Consort Rd, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 4JB

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