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….
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.
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.
If you look closely you can see a second layer of weaving behind that gives a feeling of depth to a hanging.
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.
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’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.
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 made a time-lapse video of the making of these elephants, it is only 3 minutes long and worth a look – video.
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.