This is the question posed by the forthcoming Crafts Council exhibition Added Value?, looking at how the desire for authenticity and craftsmanship has turned the idea of craft into a desirable luxury.
Featuring work from makers including fine artist and jeweller Zoe Arnold, food artists Bompas & Parr, shoe-makers carréducker, product designer Simon Hasan, wallpaper designer Tracy Kendall and fashion accessory designer Oliver Ruuger, the show aims to examine how and why we value certain objects.
Arnold creates jewellery installations that focus on the materials of the works and how they are used, while Ruuger looks at the idea of traditional skills in his work, which includes a project that has seen him take familiar items, such as briefcases, and look to increase their value through traditional processes such as leather working.
Jelly-mongers Bompas & Parr are looking at the idea of ‘experience’ for the exhibition, showing how the marriage of food and art can be used to create a sensory, experiential environment.
The ‘brands’ strand of the show is represented by a collaboration between product designer Simon Hasan and luxury fashion house Fendi. In 2011, Hasan was commissioned to create bespoke mannequins, made using traditional craft methods, showing the increasing importance of craft to high-end brands.
Added Value? runs from 31 January – 24 March at The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley S70