#1 Mentors

Artistic networks are important; they nurture and support, they create an environment to stimulate ideas and develop practice. But not all networks are equal; the good ones push and challenge you, they keep you on your creative toes and help you stay brave, and the very best make you feel just a bit lucky to be thought good enough to be part of them.

For this exhibition each maker invited their mentor from the Crafts Council Hothouse programme to show work alongside them, to demonstrate how their continuing dialogue has helped grow individual practices and to document how relationships have continued to flourish.

As a group these makers often work beyond conventional ideas of what contemporary craft is often understood to be. Not dependent upon producing functional products or even, in some cases, permanent objects they are led by ideas, material, methodologies, process, research, site and collections. What they share, and indeed as a network continue to find ways of sharing with each other, is the haptic and tacit knowledge that characterises craft making.

The knowledge that the hand and eye comprehends immediately but is difficult to articulate and near impossible to communicate just with words. It is knowledge gained from experience not books and those who hold it are often unaware of its exact nature -they know more than they can tell. It can only be shared through extended personal contact, in relationship, and through communities of practice.

Exhibition Dates

25th – 29th October 2016
Leyden Gallery

13th January – 4th March 2017
Old Fire Station

#2 In Search of the Vernacular

The vernacular, in architecture as in language, is rooted in the everyday and the prosaic. It is formed of use and habit; it is local and specific. It is concerned with the functional or the domestic rather than the public or monumental. In Search of the Vernacular uses the human scale of contemporary craft to provide a fresh perspective on aspects of vernacular architecture.

By exploring architectural ideas through craft practice, In Search of the Vernacular provides insight into particular characteristics of the vernacular. Applying construction methods to a different set of materials highlights the way process informs the substance of buildings and the city as a system; using the vocabulary of functional structures and objects for other forms reveals their inherent aesthetic properties; working on a smaller scale creates a new viewpoint on structures that shelter and the delineation of space through architecture.

Exhibition dates

28th July to 13th October 2018
Oriel Mydrrin

3rd – 10th August 2019
Thames Side Studios