Saturday, August 11, 2007

Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft

Here's the latest on the exhibition planned for later this year at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 13 November 2007-17 February 2008

The artists take inspiration from the everyday, transforming their subjects using traditional techniques in unexpected ways. Works include a scattering of life-like weeds and plants 'growing' around the gallery, all skillfully hand-carved from wood; an apparently paint-splattered table which has been inlaid with mother of pearl; a seven metre high crimson cascade made using traditional Chinese paper-cutting methods.

Out of the Ordinary brings together artists from the UK, America, Nigeria, China and Japan. It will feature new commissions by Olu Amoda, Catherine Bertola, Annie Cattrell, Susan Collis, Naomi Filmer, Lu Shengzhong, Yoshihiro Suda and Anne Wilson.

These artists use traditional craft skills, including embroidery, wood carving, lace-making and marquetry - playing with extremes of scale or re-working precious, ephemeral or everyday materials such as diamonds, dust and nails to create new and striking effects.

Of interest in this exhibition is role that craft plays in relation to spectacle. Does this exhibition try to show that craft is capable of being front stage in creating a theatrical effect, or do the subtleties of craft process lead visitors to look beyond the spectacle to how things are made?

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