Monday, January 19, 2009

Designer Crafts at the Mall

The Society of Designer Craftsmen show examples of both traditional techniques and the use of new and exciting mediums in their annual Exhibition. The show includes work from established members and Licentiates, including those chosen for admission from last years Graduate Shows.
Thrilled to see the work of fellow MA student Beverly Ayling-Smith not only prominently displayed but also on the publicity literature. Beverly uses materials traditionally used for burial to create works exploring loss and decay. My favourite was 'Disruption I', in which a lead casing had been peeled back to reveal layers of excavated linen. I don't have a picture of this piece but 'Burial' (detail, above) shows the delicate beauty of the linen.
Set in the jewellery cabinets was the work of Sunderland glass artist Criss Chaney. Although her jewellery didn't particularly thrill me I was bowled over by her art-glass pieces, especially 'Deep within' and 'Diamond in the rough'. Again no pictures of the actual pieces but 'Brass Fossil 2' gives the general idea.
The ceramics of Bonnie Kemske were fascinating, it's rare that you are invited to sit down and fondle the ceramics. Bonnie's sculptural pieces challenge the dominance of sight, 'seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.' Cast hugs is the rather quirky description of these pieces and they are intended to engage the body in grounded sensuality, a charming idea.

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