Collect 2019

Collect is an annual show of international contemporary craft, organised by by the Crafts Council. I have wanted to attend this event for the last few years but it is only open to the general public for 3 days so has proved very difficult to schedule, this year however, was different and I finally got to go in person and I am so glad I did! It is a great opportunity to talk to other artists about their craft and processes, especially on the top floor which is dedicated to emerging artists rather than the galleries who occupy the ground and first floors.

It is a pretty incredible show, spread over 3 floors of the Saatchi Galleries. You will need at least 3 hours to do it justice, more if you plan to attend any of the talks.

These are just a tiny selection of the pieces that were highlights for me….

Marian Brjlenga’s delicate, spidery textile hanging
Detail of above photo

Her tiny colourful dots were strung together with fine translucent thread allowing them to be suspended several centimetres from the wall, creating subtle shadows behind.

Jerome Blanc’s exquisitely carved wooden bowls
Detail of above photo

The craftsmanship of these bowls was exquisite, with thousands of precisely carved curves producing a mesmerising optical illusion that draws you inevitably to peer into the hole at the centre.

Detail of “Time Space” by Shihoko Fukumoto, indigo dyed weaving

If you look closely you can see a second layer of weaving behind that gives a feeling of depth to a hanging.

Inger Fohanne Rasmussen
Detail of above photo

I was in awe of the neatness of the thousands of stitches employed in Inger’s hanging, this was clearly a labour of love to hand-stitch such a large and detailed hanging.

Lizzie Farey, willow
Lizzie Farey, willow
Susie Freeman – “Pill Bag”

This is one of many works Susie has created that puts pills and medication centre stage. She traps the pills using by knitting with a fine thread. It’s not clear what Susie’s stance is on medication is but her work certainly makes the viewer consider their own relationship with it.

Mathieu Ducournau – threads on canvas
Mathieu Ducournau – threads on canvas
Detail of photo above

Mathieu’s works were incredibly skilful, from a distance they look like oil paintings but as you get closer the messy, tangled weave of coloured threads revel themselves.

Claire Malet – “Winter Sketch”
Vanessa Hogge – “Daphne” and “Chrysanthemum” vases
Zemer Peled – “In Bloom”
Ricardo Tena Chavez – “Unexpected Creatures”
Su-Yeon Kim – “Forrest of Stools”, drawn with melted glass

This sketch caught my eye, initially I though the stools had been hand stitched but as you get closer you can see how each strand has been “drawn” with melted glass.

Charlotte Mary Pack – “100 Elephants”
These were made in one day and represent the number of elephants illegally killed each day.

Charlotte made a time-lapse video of the making of these elephants, it is only 3 minutes long and worth a look – video.

Martha Rieger – each cocoon had a little surprise hidden inside
Detail of photo above

I hear Collect will be moving to a new venue next year, after 10 years at the Saatchi Galleries it will be moving to Somerset House, I am sure the standard of work will continue to be exemplary in their new home.

12 comments

    1. They are indeed, I spent 6 hours in this exhibition and could easily have gone around again had it stayed open longer, they are inspirational!

    1. My pleasure Jeannette, the hardest part was selecting just a handful of pieces to share, there were so many outstanding pieces I must have spent the day with my jaw dragging on the ground! 😉

  1. Wow, I wish I could have seen this exhibition Teri. The quality of work is outstanding….makes me feel very inadequate! I will have to put the date in my diary for next year. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I know it is a little further for you to travel Karen but I think it is worth the effort, maybe we will finally get to meet in person at Collect next year?

      1. I would like that Teri. Do you know if it’s always around the same date each year? I’ve subscribed to their newsletter so I get to know when it’s on but I could do with blocking out a few days as soon as possible so I don’t book workshops when it’s going to be on.

        1. I think it is usually the first weekend in March, the PV is on a Thursday and then it is open to the public Fri/Sat/Sun. If you signed up to the CC newsletter I think it was around January they started posting the dates.

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