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