Crafting Narrative

Sometimes, objects can tell a story just as well as words and pictures, as proved in the intriguing new Crafting Narrative show.

The Materiality of a Natural Disaster, 2012, Hilda Hellstr+A^m. Photo Hilda Hellstr+A^m
The Welsh Space Campaign, 2013, Hefin Jones. Photo: Dan Burn-Forti

The Crafts Council exhibition opens in September, and presents work that uses objects to tell a story.

The work of 12 contemporary designers will go on show, demonstrating how objects can offer narratives on themes such as history, culture, society and technology.

As well as design pieces, works in film and photography will also be on show by designers and makers including Åbäke, Auger-Loizeau, El Ultimo Grito, Martino Gamper, Zhenhan Hao, Hilda Hellström Hefin Jones, and Dawn Youll, Cecilie Gravesen and Dash Macdonald.

Imitation, imitation, 2013, Zhenhan Hao.
Imitation, imitation, 2013, Zhenhan Hao.

Highlights of the show look set to be Hilda Hellström’s The Materiality of a Natural Disaster – a series of four slightly radioactive food vessels.

Still from The Materiality of a Natural Disaster, 2012, Hilda Hellstr+A^m.
Still from The Materiality of a Natural Disaster, 2012, Hilda Hellström.

The material is taken from soil at a rice farm in the Fukushima-Daiichi exclusion zone in Japan making them ‘just as purposeless as the land is to the farmers of Fukushima, become symbols inhabiting a narrative that goes far beyond their function’, says the gallery.

Miss Ramirez Chair, 2006, El Ultimo Grito.

Source: Crafts Council Collection W155. Photo Heini Schneebeli

Miss Ramirez Chair, 2006, El Ultimo Grito.

Ceramic sculptures by Dawn Youll show how ornaments carry stories of the moment in history they were produced, and how they were crafted.

The exhibition identity and design was created by product designer Martino Gamper and graphics studio Åbäke, with designs looking to add to the narratives of the piece in the exhibition by drawing on the idea of bespoke materials and methods of making.

We also love this circular broom by Carl Clerkin:

Semi-skilled III, 2013, Dawn Youll.

Source: Photo Philip Sayer, courtesy Marsden Woo Gallery

Semi-skilled III, 2013, Dawn Youll.

Crafting Narrative: Storytelling through objects and making runs from  10 September – 19 October at Pitzhanger Manor House & Gallery, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ.

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