30 April 2012

Japanese Style; Sustaining Design

Prairie sample

Polygami sample

               Japanese Style: Sustaining Design
  Exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre until 24th June 2012

Nuno textiles

wall mounted samples

This thought provoking exhibition aims to link tradition and crafts with the latest technology and ecological discoveries.  It also shows the value of community craft based projects set up to help local people gain a sense of normality after the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami last year.  Rooted in sustainable design there are plenty of beautiful artefacts and architectural ideas on display but it is the main gallery showing the innovative Nuno textiles, under the Artistic Directorship of Reiko Sudo, that is the real delight.

Walking between the long lengths of cleverly draped and suspended fabrics you can see the detail of the designs and how they respond to the human form.  Information panels on the wall provide samples to touch and scrutinize and try and understand how they have been constructed.  Unusual materials are combined, printed on, recycled, sculpted and layered, creating exciting tactile surfaces.  The fabrics are not all new, some date back to the 1990's but they remain fresh and a true source of inspiration.

Gallery two concentrates on traditional crafts showing ceramics, paper, baskets, metal and wooden items that are both functional and beautiful and made to the highest standards.  Take time to watch the papermaking video!
In gallery three is the Hale's personal collection of traditional ceramics from The Tohoku region.

We always look forward to the exhibitions at Ruthin; an enjoyable day out with a good cafe for lunch and an interesting shop selling high quality craft pieces by national artists.  There are a few books and back catalogues as well as cards.  With three galleries and artists studios there is lots to see and enjoy lovely drive through the Welsh countryside.


12 April 2012

Computer Textile Design Exhibition

'Textiles Transformed' from the Computer Textile Design Group. 
5th April - 17th April 2012

'I helped to set up the Computer Textile Design Group exhibition at Ness Botanical Gardens last week, it was the first time we had held one and was to celebrate their 20th year as a group!
The members are very computer skilled and many of their textile exhibits are full of colour, a very cheerful sight.  The exhibition has created a great deal of interest from the many visitors to Ness who studied each piece of work and made very complementary remarks. Several enquired about membership.' Elizabeth

Sounds a very interesting exhibition showing how computers can aid design but we shouldn't forget that the computer is still dependant on the operator! Nor should we forget that further skills are required to translate them into textile pieces!!  A truly multi skilled group, their exhibition is well worth a visit.

Ness Botanical Gardens, Ness, Neston, South Wirral, Cheshire, CH65 4AY
10.00-4.00pm admission free

4 April 2012

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011

Have you been to any of the annual exhibitions that come under the umbrella of 'Jerwood, Visual Arts'?
Sue has recently visited the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011 exhibition at the newly opened, Coventry Lanchester Gallery and would like to share her thoughts.

'This wonderful space is showing the contemporary drawings of 60 artists, selected from over 3,500 entries.  The Jerwood Drawing Prize is the UK's largest and longest running open prize for drawing and never fails to promote the ongoing, creative interpretation of the word 'drawing'.

The work varies in scale and content and as always does not disappoint in terms of quality, imaginative interpretation and media used.  Every kind of method is in evidence from painstaking Photorealism, gestural mark making to drawing by machine.   Styles also vary from classical portraiture, geometric abstraction, detailed diagrams and even include writing.  The creative use of media is also inspiring, ranging from hand made books, collage, prints, film and embroidery.

Such a wealth of both minimal and complex drawings really did excite me.  Exquisite pencil drawn tree studies, complex cut-out grid patterns, optical illusion drawing of staples in paper, gestural abstract prints to a beautiful piece called 'Withdrawn' where the threads have been removed from a found garment and only holes remain - leaving a hint of what was.

The exhibition finished in Coventry at the end of March but the next venue is the Burton Museum and Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon.'
Visit the website http://www.jerwoodvisualarts.org/ for more information including an online catalogue.