Crafty politicians

When Prime Minister David Cameron shuts the door of 10 Downing Street, loosens his tie and puts his feet up after a hard day at the despatch box, he can now relax surrounded by some of the cream of contemporary UK craft pieces.

Candelabra by Deborah Thomas
Candelabra by Deborah Thomas

Curator Janice Blackburn has put together a show featuring work by ceramicists Edmund de Waal and Katie McBride, designer Simon Hasan, and Royal College of Art tutor Felicity Aylieff, all in the name of promoting British craft to the politicians and dignitaries who visit Number 10.

The show also features pieces by Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design professor Rob Kesseler, glass artist Deborah Thomas, furniture designer Gareth Neal and Anglo-Dutch partnership Studio Glithero.

Piece by Edmund de Waal
Piece by Edmund de Waal

Featuring works in leather, glass, pottery, wood and other materials, it is hoped that the display – across the state rooms and communal areas of the building – will be ongoing and changed every few months. Curator Blackburn says that although Downing Street frequently hosts visual art displays from the Government Art Collection, this is the first contemporary craft exhibition.

She says, ‘Downing Street is in a position to proudly show off the best of the UK’s stunning creativity and talent to the numerous visitors from all over the globe. I hope the work will arouse curiousity, interest and pleasure to the many visitors from around the world who will see them on display in No 10.’

Vase by Simon Hasan
Vase by Simon Hasan

And of course Cameron now has the opportunity to relax in a Gareth Neal chair, put his feet up on a Studio Glithero instalation and… ‘Watch out for that vase Prime Minister! – it’s a de Waal!

‘Oh dear.’

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