CRAFT CONTINUUMby Niamh McCooey
Guest post by Jo Lovelock
Exhibiting as part of London Design Festival this month is an eclectic group of makers called Craft Continuum, who specialise in textiles, glass, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, collage, photography and jewellery. Formed in 2016 by a core of new MA graduates from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, the group held its inaugural exhibition, Makers at Menier, at the Menier Gallery in London last year. One year on the group, together with an invited selection of PhD students and Artists in Residence, has reunited to showcase their developing practices in the exhibition Continuum 1.
In the show, Beverly Ayling-Smith examines the emotional states of mourning and melancholia by focussing on grief, loss and absence through the tearing, mending and staining of cloth. Alongside her textiles, Rosie Baxter will exhibit her hand-made felt, celebrating the raw earthiness of this ancient material. Felt, for Rosie, represents healing; a second skin which offers protection and comfort in a dangerous environment.
Through cloth Lois Bellew considers how memory affects our stability and identity, using thread to echo daily situations and examine how experiences are laced with memories of those past. Penelope Clayden will also take part by exploring the visualisation of chronic pain – something of which she has extensive experience, both personally and in her career as a nursing professional.
Cathy Griffiths observes the wear and tear of materials, looking for the point at which original structure breaks down, questioning whether the outcome is destructive, transformative or both. Jo Lovelock’s work navigates the emotional impact that objects have on our lives through transition and transference. She investigates textiles’ ability to create a holding environment for our emotions.
Eileen Prior is also exhibiting work in Continuum 1, inspired by the landscape and traditional textiles from all over the world. She works predominantly with British wool and natural yarns, focussing on materials that evoke a powerful sense of time place.
Continuum 1, 19 - 23 September 2017
Menier Gallery, 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU