'Into The Light'
As the UK opens up in the wake of lockdown, the Society of Designer Craftsmen is pleased to present ‘Into The Light’, a celebratory exhibition at Chichester’s historic Oxmarket Gallery, bringing together exciting work from over 30 artists working in contemporary crafts including textiles, ceramics, glass, wood, paper, silver and jewellery.
The selected exhibitors have responded to the ‘Into The Light’ call in a variety of ways. For many, whilst lockdown was challenging, it fuelled a new body of work which they are keen to share in the emerging real world. For others, the title promised the prospect of life returning to normal, stimulating a resurgence of their creativity.
The Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester
25 Aug 2020 to 6 Sep 2020
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 to 16:30
I am inspired by the ceaseless mutability of light on the landscape, sky and water.
The wonderful properties of glass are inherently mutable, not only in the molten state but also in the way the medium draws you into the light, creating endless nuances in the finished piece.
A 14th century shipwreck scatters its contents of ceramic wares across the ocean floor where they lay for 600 years. In the 1990s artefacts from this wreck were brought up and ‘Into the Light.’ Among them was a potbellied bottle. The Ancient Mariner imagines 3 scenarios in the 600 year old life of this bottle.
In 2020, 4 separate rocket launches will depart into space. Since the creation of fire, humans have been drawn to the light. Now the lights of a million stars guide us upwards and outwards into a new age of exploration.
“Or discendiam qua giù nel cieco mondo” Let us descend into the blind world now (Dante Inferno IV, 13)
These lines, while inspiring this work, also reflect the exceptional times in which we have been living over the last few months. ….and we can only wish to see the light again….
“E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle” And then we went out to look at the stars again (Dante Inferno XXXIV, 139)
These works investigate opacity, transparency and partialness, both materially and metaphorically. Script-like transparent marks hint at a decodable meaning, but their abstraction and disintegration confound translation or actual interpretation. The shadows created by the interaction of light make the absences visible.
Self-isolating, loss of income = self-reliance, economisation.
Pieces were woven by hand on a simple 4-shaft floor loom and wet-finished at home.
British Wool yarn samples and left-over plant dyed wools were used in these pared-back versions of the Meditation Rugs created for The Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s Get Fresh 2019 exhibition.
Stories of River Thames at Rotherhithe
Buried for centuries, discovered ship’s timbers are brought into the light and transformed by materials and measurements rooted in this place.
Echoing the unique rhythms of ebb and flow and tidal depths, together with history, these works become location markers of this exact site.
Brendan Devitt-Spooner MSDC
This cabinet was designed to house and display various precious items within various drawers and cupboards. The four main frame members extend above the cabinet top to give an illusion of protection to a piece of glass or sculpture that is bottom lit .
The cabinet is made from English ash and African wenge with cedar of Lebanon
Angela Dewar loves working with stitch, and the fusion of techniques, fibres and fabrics, including recycles, interest her. Pieces are often inspired by poetry and landscape, aiming to create textures and pattern which express the abstract beauty of contrasting qualities of changing light.
Wendy is a textile artist inspired by landscapes and architecture. Recent months have given her the chance to reflect on work and develop ideas. This exhibition offers an ideal opportunity to move forward and ‘Into the Light’, fully appreciating the natural surroundings.
She exhibits, lectures and teaches workshops nationally and internationally.
In her compositions Charlotte explores the theme of sequences and repeating patterns. How we read patterns and how their appearance can be altered by changing the sequences of colours. As we emerge out ‘Into the Light’ our usual routines and rhythms have been disrupted and we are finding new patterns for living.
The quiet of lockdown gave Kayley an opportunity to create a new body of work. Seeking beauty and balance, these pieces were formed by layering coils of clay slowly and sensitively, exploring the material’s inclination to bend and stretch. The resulting forms are simple yet striking, with contours and shadows that change as you move around the work.
My two pieces allude to the unchanging continuity of nature even during the current crisis. The sun sets and rises again, the world keeps turning, nature is constant irrespective of the pandemic. Each dawn we emerge anew from darkness into light, refreshed by hope and the promise of good news.
Using rare and beautiful veneers and innovative inlay techniques, I use my passion for detail and complexity to create unique jewellery and gift boxes with impressive decorative impact.
Christine loves repetition, pattern and the interplay of light line and shadow. She is interested in optical illusion and in creating visual effects, using the effect of interference patterns to capture and incorporate Moiré fringes. Many pieces are kinetic, allowing the wearer to control and to play with the effect.
Tapestries tell stories. Margaret Jones's work is no different, she works in sequence, each work moving the narrative onwards. The tales are about the human condition, the degenerative and regenerative constitution of the human body as we move from difficulty and darkness into the light.
As a craftsperson I have always been optimistic. It is a key ingredient in what I do. It is what sustains me, it is what carries me forward. It is one of the reasons why I am where I am now and that is not a bad place to be.
Aurora is an Italian artist living and working in Cambridgeshire. Her Komorebi range takes inspiration from the magical interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.
Stylised leaves, handcrafted from unglazed black & white porcelain, are combined with a simple metalwork and accented with occasional gentle touches of 22k gold lustre.
Originally textile trained, Dan’s latest work focusses on paper. Currently working in monochrome, allowing light to accentuate her skilfully hand-cut and manipulated pieces, she often works in multiples for dramatic effect. She sees these works as both ends in themselves and ideas for grander scale pieces.
The inspiration for my work comes from the seasonal observations of the natural world.
Colour & light give me a rich contrast and manipulation techniques enhance surface & texture.
Sewing machine threads are my paint palette, the needle a brush to stitch the detail.
‘Melando’, a collaborative project combines the striking colours and textures of Mel Price’s stained glass with the elegant lines and carefully selected timbers of Armando Magnino’s furniture. Their passion for good design and fine craftsmanship come together to create unique pieces that light up your home with vibrant colours and elegant shapes.
Working with hand knotted rug techniques I strive to create a textural balance of colour, light and shade to recall the atmosphere of a place. Perception, memory and imagination are constantly interacting. In these two pieces I have used Lecce in Puglia, and the Spring Falla in Valencia as my inspiration.
In these embroideries I have concentrated on ever changing light. The weather constantly transforms our world, so it exists in a continually altered state. Many of the threads I use are reflective, thus each piece also changes as the light transitions from dawn to dusk.
Vibrant designer-made jewellery, fusing a playful style with fine craftsmanship and innovative design. Jessica's collections bring together illuminating light, bold colour and dramatic contours and designs are individually made in precious metals using a range of traditional and digital processes.
Leslie makes functional and sculptural ceramics that are fired with a low oxygen level to 1300 degrees Centigrade in a gas kiln. His present focus is on exploration of glaze design, surface texture and internal kiln conditions upon the fired ceramic surface. Results, positive and negative, are best viewed when pieces are taken from the kiln into the light; ideally daylight.
Since lockdown I can’t but think ‘everything is coming up roses’. Not that it is, but this thought has definitely coloured my work for this show, and all these new pieces certainly are drifting 'Into the Light'
During lockdown Moira made drawings from a Victorian Christening gown worn by generations of her family. It inspired her to make pieces that reflect on the themes of connection and time. Using details from its lace work, she has created wearable garments conveying a sense of fragility and passing time.
The work probes the idea of finding contentment in simply being of this world during troubled times and of moving into the light. The relationship with matter emancipates the perception of belonging in our environment. The ancient technologies of weaving and netting suggest belonging together through space and time.
For this exhibition we have used English Sequoia, a wood with a wonderful texture and colour. After carving and wire brushing we expose into the light the older density of the grain etched in the fibres of the material. The colour then is intensified with special oils.
I make boats with themes of optimism and adventure (‘Into the Light’).
I use drift wood, boxwood and ivy cuttings with textile sails. I let the materials suggest the form and add features that take a traditional vessel into a theatrical and mythical world.
Walking in the woods near her Hampshire home inspired these pieces of light filtering through the trees on a wintery day. Working from her drawings, Dee translates her observations by patching and layering fabrics to form a background on which to stitch.
There is always something joyful about sunlight streaming through coloured glass – position Deborah’s bowls in bright natural light to give them an extra dimension.
Deborah uses highly texture fabrics and buttons to create wonderful surfaces – each makes a beautiful centrepiece.
Joy hand builds porcelain to delicate fineness, taking inspiration from sea creatures, fossils, bones and ethereal funghi. She exploits the inherent risk and fluidity in high fired porcelain.
Her work comes to life best displayed in natural daylight.
New porcelains contrast white translucent Parian porcelain emerging from dark textured porcelain bases - growing “into the light”. Unglazed finely pinched porcelain stretches the possibilities of Joy’s preferred medium, which she fires to 1270 degrees Centigrade.
International success in Ceramic competitions throughout Europe has been a catalyst and a focus for the development of new ideas within the constraints of hand building. Joy aims to push porcelain to reveal its translucency and delicacy to the point of collapse. “Into the light” is a theme that resonates with Joy’s recent works.
Mouth watering gemstones are the starting point for the design of each of Michele’s handmade pieces. Every beautiful creation is a work of art and tomorrow’s heirloom. Handmade in precious metals, textured, polished or matt, juxtaposed to build many fused and riveted layers in which unusual gemstones and minerals are set.