All photography by Amelia Gregory.
Yes, help I admit this will be a series of massively late reviews, but I’m going by that age old edict, better late than never…. My first port of call at Tent London 2010 was the LAB CRAFT area; Digital Adventures in Contemporary Craft. A Crafts Council exhibition, it attempted to redefine what is meant by ‘craft’ in an age when we have so much digital technology at our disposal. Curated by Max Fraser, I found this arguably the most interesting part of the main exhibition.
Under the auspice of ‘Urban Camouflage’ Chelsea College of Art graduate Chae Young Kim had created the Knitted Room, soft hairlike lines on a wallpaper design – so fine that they could only have been made by a computer, of course. Hypnotically beautiful.
For Information Ate My Table Zachary Eastwood-Bloom had chomped through the side of a coffee table in a fabulous mathematically shaped design.
The Bravais Armchair by Lazerian was created from cardboard – but retails for a massive £1700. Steady now. It’s design was inspired by the structural columnar forms found in nature, and looks to be an idea that could easily be made using recycled materials, and potentially very cheaply at that. Unfortunately there was no mention of sustainability and given the high price it’s likely that the Bravais Armchair will remain available only to the very rich. Designer Liam Hopkins’ other work is inspired by wasp nests and crystals – stunning stuff, if only we could all benefit from such great design.
Daniel O’Riordan had created a stunning wood table, it’s surface subtly etched with the pattern of rain plopping onto water. He managed to get this effect by stimulating the effect with fluid dynamics software, the results of which were then milled into the oak table top.
A triangular bean bag by Jo Pierce was made from a digital textile design that was then digitally printed. A hand finish was given to the surface to still further mix up manufacturing mediums. Lost in Digital was an art piece that epitomises the way that most graphic artists currently work – created by the BA Print Pathway Leader in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins.
Philippa Brock had woven an amazing textile. Ignore the pretentious art name and marvel at Self Fold #1 and Self Fold #2, inspired by paper folding techniques. Despite digital intervention initial prototyping was done on hand looms and the resulting fabric is textured yet elastic.
Jo Hayes-Ward is an old friend, talented jewellery designer and graduate of the RCA. She works with traditional jewellery making processes such as lost wax casting to create complex, attractive rings and broaches embedded with digital patterns.
It goes without saying that these days almost all artisans embrace some level of technology, but this was a stunning collection of those who have really pushed the limits of their craftsmanship to encompass digital advances in design.
*News just in* LAB CRAFT will be going on tour soon: it visits these venues across the country:
Civic Square, Greater Manchester, Leigh, WN7 1EB
30 October 2010 – 18 December 2010
Plymouth College of Art
Tavistock Place, Plymouth, PL4 8AT
10 January – 19 February 2011
New Brewery Arts Centre
Cirencester, Gloucestshire, GL7 1JH
11 March – 25 April 2011
Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum
Royal Pump Rooms, The Parade, Leamington Spa, CV32 4AA
29 September – 20 November 2011
Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ
30 November 2011 – 21 January 2012
- New Designers 2011 Part One: Textile Design Graduate Show Review
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part one
- New Designers 2011 Part One: Contemporary Craft Graduate Show Review
- New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part three
- Central Saint Martins: MA Textile Futures Graduate Show 2011 Review