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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

New Designers 2011 Part One: Contemporary Craft Graduate Show Review

The best Contemporary Craft came from Ashleigh Williams, Sarah Bevan and Hollie Anderson at Hereford College of Arts who deservedly won Best Stand. There was also lovely stuff from Nottingham Trent University - especially Laura Matthews' upcycled acrylic rats.

Written by Amelia Gregory

New Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson
Creatures, troche by Hollie Anderson, purchase at Hereford College of Arts.

During part one a large part of exhibition space was given out to what is known as Contemporary Craft – which in essence meant anything that was not particularly innovative in comparison with the rest of New Designers. But there were exceptions… Hereford College of Arts turned out some of the strongest contemporary crafters, page with individual and imaginative artwork that looked fresh against much of what I saw, both in the Contemporary Craft space and elsewhere. Hereford very deservingly won Best Stand.

New Designers review 2011-Ashleigh Williams
Ashleigh Williams was on hand to explain that her crocheted jellyfish filled with LED lights were intended for display as groupings that mimic their tendencies in the natural world. The tentacles and translucency were very convincing – amazing what crochet can do.

New Designers review 2011-Sarah Bevan Toft LaskiNew Designers review 2011-Sarah Bevan Toft Laski
Sarah Bevan also goes by the name Toft Laski. On her display cabinet there was a host of curious beasties: dolls with donkey heads, dried fish on wheels and rolling birds with wigs on. A grand old assortment.

New Designers review 2011-Victoria Midgley
Victoria Midgley created extravagant mirrors from unconventional art materials, inspired by the colours and shapes of tropical sealife.

New Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson hereford
New Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson herefordNew Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson herefordNew Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson hereford
New Designers review 2011-Hollie Anderson hereford
I was totally stunned by Hollie Anderson‘s work – fuelled by an interest in animistic religions, she’d put together some totemic pieces that were vaguely unsettling and yet utterly compulsive: strange faceless creatures with embroidered snowflake tummies, gaping mouths and protruding spikes… bleeding figures with no discernible features at all… five legged creates with bones for mouths… a tethered fox like creature, again with hair and bones in all the wrong positions. She aims to tug at the viewer’s subconscious, ‘creating an innate emotional reaction to the figures, giving them life.’ Totally dazzled with the brilliance of Hollie’s incredible creations, caught somewhere between craft, totems and fine art. More images can be viewed on her very well designed tumblr website.

New Designers review 2011-Nadine SpencerNew Designers review 2011-Nadine Spencer
Nadine Spencer from Nottingham Trent University showed a huge laser cut city chandelier, with buildings piled on top of each other. Her individual artworks also showed cities, this time populated with alien spacecraft too. What fun!

New Designers review 2011-Laura Matthews Nottingham Trent University New Designers review 2011-Laura Matthews Nottingham Trent University New Designers review 2011-Laura Matthews Nottingham Trent University
By the table Laura Mathews was obviously in charge of the rats. I do so love it when you can spot the maker! She told me how her rats with articulated limbs are made out of recycled acrylic that she found in a skip. At last! Someone thinking ecologically! There really wasn’t enough of this at New Designers. Laura would like to make an animation featuring rats amongst those other urban pests: foxes and pigeons.

Don’t forget to check in with my other New Designers Part One blog posts: Textile Design, Surface Design, Ceramics and Glass and Jewellery. Just click on the links!

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3 Responses to “New Designers 2011 Part One: Contemporary Craft Graduate Show Review”

  1. Brilliant! My brother is going to Hereford College of Arts this September to do a degree in Artisan Blacksmithing….Hollie is one of my bro’s best mates. She is totally awesome!

    We went to the degree show and I was bowled over by the incredibly high standard of their work.
    I wrote a little bit about it on my blog too –> http://www.rosalilium.com/2011/06/outfit-art-show-in-hereford-2/

    Lots of talented people to watch from Hereford!

  2. Amelia says:

    Hereford definitely rocked the contemporary craft section the mostest! But I can’t see where you wrote about the actual show? Ah yes found it, here’s the right link http://www.rosalilium.com/2011/06/herford-college-of-arts-graduate-show-2011/

  3. Hi! thanks so much for the mention! Just wanted to say it’s Mathews with one ‘t’…
    Here’s the link to my blog too :) http://lessthanthreed.blogspot.com/

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