What We Saw: Collect 2018

Late February and we are back round to this landmark in the British 'craft' calendar: Collect. Actually, it's right to acknowledge that Collect, isn't only significant in the British craft calendar, this 'art fair for contemporary objects', presented by The Crafts Council, is extremely important for craft internationally. 

 Sea 2017 (blue and white porcelain on canvas); Lee Eun. The Korean Craft & Design Foundation.

Sea 2017 (blue and white porcelain on canvas); Lee Eun.
The Korean Craft & Design Foundation.

Standout galleries presented staggering objects by established names in wood, ceramics, glass and textiles. Of note, Sarah Meyerscough Gallery, Jaggedart London, Officine Saffi and one of my personal favourites this year, the Oxford Ceramic Gallery which showed a collection of work including pieces by Lucie Rie and works of combined media and talent by Julian Stair and Simone ten Hompel

 Rainforest (white porcelain with some black on charred wood flooring); Valéria Nascimento Jaggedart London

Rainforest (white porcelain with some black on charred wood flooring); Valéria Nascimento
Jaggedart London

 The Wash (wall) 2018; Abigail Booth  Burnt (floor) 2018; Max Bainbridge; Forest + Found Collect Open

The Wash (wall) 2018; Abigail Booth
Burnt (floor) 2018; Max Bainbridge;
Forest + Found
Collect Open

 Numen 2018; Oma Space Collect Open

Numen 2018; Oma Space
Collect Open

But, as I so often find, the really super interesting work comes when artists and makers are encouraged and enabled to break away from their usual practice and present something experimental and different. Up on the top floor of the Saatchi Gallery the Collect Open show held some really thoughtful, dynamic, interesting (Forest and Found's foray into large scale work - quilted wall hanging and four statement green oak and sweet chestnut pieces - were particularly beautiful) and, in the case of Mella Shaw's piece, tragic, heartbreaking work.

 Harvest 2017/8 (smoke-fired ceramics); Mella Shaw Collect Open This was the saddest, most thought provoking piece at Collect. Noting that the sea bed is a resting place for ceramics discarded over thousands of years of human history Shaw's ceramic replicas of platics and of fish mark the approaching tipping point for our oceans. Unless we act, it is thought that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish.

Harvest 2017/8 (smoke-fired ceramics); Mella Shaw
Collect Open
This was the saddest, most thought provoking piece at Collect. Noting that the sea bed is a resting place for ceramics discarded over thousands of years of human history Shaw's ceramic replicas of platics and of fish mark the approaching tipping point for our oceans. Unless we act, it is thought that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish.

 Collect 2018; Saatchi Gallery, London 

Collect 2018; Saatchi Gallery, London