Thursday, October 08, 2009

Faces at the window

click photo to enlarge
My wife said the other day that if "The Hub" (Britain's National Centre for Craft and Design) wasn't at Sleaford we'd visit the town less frequently than we do. She was right. What I like about this building, and what makes me return regularly, is that it introduces me to aspects of art, craft and design that I might otherwise not see - some of it very good, some of it less so.

Our most recent visit was to see the exhibition of winning designs from the annual international competition initiated by the Design Museum and sponsored by Brit Insurance*. The selection on display, some in actual form, others in video, included work as wide ranging as the new Oslo Opera House, the MYTO chair, and the Magno wooden radio from Indonesia. It was an exhibition well worth seeing. We also took in the exhibition entitled, "Home Sweet Home: an exploration into the subversive elements of the domestic by UK graduates in craft & design", a collection described as "innovative, inspiring and daring", which I found immature, facile and depressing. What made this exhibition worse was that every piece was accompanied by a written commentary by the artist, each of which would easily qualify for entry in the Pseuds Corner column of Private Eye.

Connecting the two main display spaces is a tall stairwell with landings. These were showing jewellery by Clare Knox. I was initially ambivalent about this, liking its originality, the fluid forms, and the tactile qualities, but I wondered whether it would work when worn. However, I warmed to it on repeated viewings, and felt that with the right clothes it could be successful. The jewellery is described as being made from "EVA, rubber", and looks like it has been poured or dripped to make the required, quite original designs. She had also created a series of big drawings that hung in front of the windows, using the same technique as she uses for the jewellery. One of these, in my judgement, stood head and shoulders above the others and appealed to me so much I took this photograph of it.

* Brit Insurance. Now there's a company I'd reject solely on the grounds of its name. I hate this recently coined contraction of the word "British".

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 8mm (37mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation:-0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On


Geoff W said...

It makes a great photograph and probably looks great in a gallery but can you imagine coming down in the morning and seeing that hanging in front of the window? It would frighten me to death every day!! If that's possible!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd hang it on my window just to see the effect on everyone else.

BTW it says on the link you posted that all the exhibits are for sale. If I lived in the UK I'd make them an offer!

Anonymous said...

Looks a good piece of work. I'd hang it.

Tony Boughen said...

Thanks Geoff, Anon & Anon. I like it but I wouldn't hang it either.


Clare Knox said...

Hello - I am the artist, Clare Knox - thanks for your reviews! This was an interesting exhibition to do as it was exciting to make site specific works for the windows. If you'd like to see more of my work, please visit my blog on Commissions welcome!