Monday, December 3, 2007

Out of the Ordinary

Out of the Ordinary, Crafts in the 21st Century is currently on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
For Everything and Nothing Catherine Bertola has collected dust from around the museum and used it to texture and colour giant paper-cuts based on wallpaper patterns. Dust tells the hidden history of a place and those who use it.

Naomie Filmer is fascinated by the parts of the body that are usually not celebrated, such as the back of the knee or elbow. For Body Map she has cast small areas of the body, such as the heel, in silver. These pieces have been magnified and isolated inside glass lenses making them extraordinary.
The Book of Humanity, the empty book is a stunning installation of hand cut red tissue paper falling from three suspended books by Lu Shengzhong. Each stream of paper ends with a small figure, representing the fragility of man. On the opposite wall are stacked black cases full of hand cut figures, also of hand cut red tissue paper.
Capacity by Anne Wilson is, for me, the most stunning piece in the exhibition. It is a fusion between art and science and captures the moment of the lungs being filled with air. The transparency of glass and its ability to reveal is perfectly suited to the invisibility of the air it portrays.
Anne Wilson has used thousands of fragments of lace in her Topologies installation. There is an important play on scale in this piece which counteracts the preciousness of lace - where one flower is precious, a field full is less so and the same effect is gained here. Showing alongside the installation is a stop-motion video of the piece being installed, accompanied by a soundtrack of the threads, pins and hammers at work.

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