Celebrate our Past, Exploring our Future

‘Growing ‘takes its lead from the very first exhibition we held in 2003, called ‘What is Craft?’ Ten years on, we’ve invited leading figures in the sphere of contemporary craft and design, artists, curators, writers and influencers, to nominate work by emerging and established artists who will be the innovators of the future.

Over thirty artists have been proposed by our nominators to create an exhibition
demonstrating a wide range of craft media and forms: textiles, ceramics, glass, jewellery, basketry, furniture and millinery.

The 10th anniversary of The National Centre for Craft & Design (formerly The Hub) comes at an exciting time for contemporary craft. Technical and conceptual innovations have taken craft forward in exciting and unexpected ways, whilst the economic downturn has led to a re-evaluation of traditional techniques and re-use of materials. This exhibition will provoke new ideas and stimulate new ways of thinking about craft as a whole.

Our own NCCD nomination is Paulo Goldstein, a Project Space artist at Collect 2013, the Crafts Council’s prestigious craft fair. We are commissioning Paulo to create new work as part of his ‘Repair is Beautiful’ collection.

Our second commission will be a mini -residency throughout the opening weekend of the exhibition by performance craft artist Alec Stevens, who will be making new work in response to visitor input.

Crafts Council Director Rosy Greenlees nominated basketry artist Stella Harding for her innovative use of material and techniques and ambitious approach to scale and Sarah Warsop, “for her movement inspired jewellery which draws directly on her experience as a dancer and choreographer”.

Journalist and former director of the Design Museum Alice Rawsthorn proposed Dutch based Italian designers Formafantasma, whose work comments on nostalgia and tradition. Japanese-born Hitomi Hosono impressed Bonnie Kemske, Editor of Ceramic Review, who nominated her exquisitely delicate and detailed porcelain sculptures adorned with intricate patterns influenced by traditional British ceramic techniques.

A body of ceramic work will also be on show by Joseph Hartley, New Designers
2013 ‘Designer of the Year’ whose work impressed no less than five of our nominators. There will be textiles by Mister Finch and Mai Tabakian, the latter selected by artist Gabriel Dawe. We are also showing glass from Samantha Donaldson (nominated by our sister organisation Design Factory), jewellery by Lisa Juen and furniture from designer  Sebastian Cox.

Complementing the exhibition will be an online gallery of all nominated artists’ work expanding on the physical show. This online gallery will offer an opportunity for comment and debate on the subject of the future of craft and design as well as an opportunity to view the exhibited artworks from afar.

In her essay for ‘What is Craft?’, Louise Taylor (then director of the Crafts Council) said: “Craft retains its traditional core but many innovators are challenging boundaries and using the language of ‘craftsmanship’ in new ways”. These words still pertain today, especially the extraordinary 3D printed work created by Michael Eden, nominated by leading ceramics specialist Adrian Sassoon, whose work uses new technologies to explore and alter traditional and iconic English designs.

The artworks displayed in ‘Growing’ are destined to become the icons of the future.

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