Monday, 16 February 2015

Keeping it Real

Last Wednesday night I attended a panel discussion entitled "Keeping it Real: Craft and Authenticity" at Heal's Tottenham Court Road store as part of its 2015 Modern Craft Market.
Crafts magazine editor, Grant Gibson, chaired a panel of craft and industry experts comprising Chris Eckersley, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and recent graduate designer Xenia Moseley to explore where the limits of craft reside and to try to determine was precisely is 'real' craft.
Grant Gibson introducing the discussion panel.
There were about 40-50 people at the event and Chris Eckersley shared with us his views on the four categories he thought that craft was currently falling into : Craft as art; Craft as heritage; Craft as hobby and Real Craft. We then heard from Zac about his practice in both the 'real' world of ceramics and the virtual world of 3D printing, and lastly we listened to Xenia speak about her graduate work as a young designer exploring the concept of "journeywoman".  Personally I didn't think the discussion got enough of the audience involved in order to really fire up the debate.  They all seemed to be a pretty polite lot, and looking forward more to drinks and personal discussions afterwards, so for me it was underwhelming. Perhaps just a very large question in a short space of time.

One event that did fire up the imagination was seeing the work of Gareth Pugh at Galleria Melissa in Covent Garden. This was an outstanding 'teaser' at this small underground gallery because there will be a larger exhibition of his work and a talk at the V&A on the 3rd March this year.
Front entrance to Melissa, Gareth Pugh fashion.
It's hard to believe Gareth Pugh has only been designing thee wearable sculptures for only 10 years, building up an impressive list of clientele from Lady Gaga to Kylie Minogue.

Although this was a small exhibition, it was big on talent, attention to detail, dramatic styling and innovative use of materials. Wish I could be here to see the more extensive exhibition.

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