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.
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.
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.
Victoria Midgley created extravagant mirrors from unconventional art materials, inspired by the colours and shapes of tropical sealife.
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.
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!
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.
- New Designers 2015 Crafts: glassware, metalwork, lighting, ceramics and more
- New Designers 2011 Part Two: Illustration Graduate Show Review 1
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part three
- New Designers 2015: Abstract Textiles and Surface Design
- The Life and Times of the Sabre-Toothed Sausage