The power of making

Boasting a life-sized crochet bear and a lion-shaped Ghanian coffin, the Power of Making exhibition, coming to the Victoria & Albert museum in September, may sound like eclectic throwaway fun, but curator Daniel Charny says he hopes the show will make a serious point.

Speaking last week at the launch of the London Design Festival, which the Power of Making show will lead into, Charny said he hoped the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ going on display will help viewers ‘to contemplate the growing distance people have from the knowledge of making’.

Crochet Dermy bear by Shauna Richardson. © Shauna Richardson
Crochet Dermy bear by Shauna Richardson. © Shauna Richardson

Charny adds, ‘We hope the exhibition will inspire people and cause them to more thoughtfully consider the role of making in their lives, in their society, in commerce and in education.’

And although exhibits such as a six-necked guitar and a giant gorilla made from metal coat hangers sound like enough of a draw in themselves, Charny says a main focus of the show will be to examine the process of making and not just the results.

Dressage saddle by Barnsby Saddlery. © Barnsby Saddlery
Dressage saddle by Barnsby Saddlery. © Barnsby Saddlery

As such, there will be documentaries looking at the process of making and featuring studios and factories including John Lobb shoemakers and Moorfield Hospital’s prosthetic eye maker.

Urban picnic table by Gareth Neal ltd. © Gareth Neal ltd
Urban picnic table by Gareth Neal ltd. © Gareth Neal ltd

The show will also provide plenty of opportunity for hands-on making experience through the Tinker Space, which will host demonstrations and a range of activities for visitors.

Charny says, ‘The exhibition will be looking at how people make amazing things.’

Rotational moulded shoe by Marloes ten Bhomer. © Marloes ten Bhomer
Rotational moulded shoe by Marloes ten Bhomer. © Marloes ten Bhomer

The Power of Making show, exhibition, from the V&A and the Crafts Council, will be held at the V&A from 6 September 2011-2 January 2012.

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