The story is what remains unseen.
The story is the observer’s questions that remain unanswered.
As in a sequence from a dream, Fairy-tale and Birdy represent magic encounters with silhouette-like fantasy figures.
Birdy evokes our child-like fantasies and wish to be able to fly.
Oddly united by a leash, the child and the bird appear as one – a figure not of this world.
Fairy-tale represents just a short moment in which we are not able to fully grasp what is really happening.
Is it real or just symbolic, is it good or bad, present or past?
It gives rise to a sensation of “everything is possible”… and of n o t k n o w i n g, a feeling particularly like.
The rug designs Fairy-tale and Birdy were inspired by traditional paper silhouettes from Goethe’s times representing social scenes.
With their special style, REUBER HENNING aim to create rugs that provide new impulses for the mind as well as for the living space.
‘Tools, Instruments and Toys’
These words describe objects that narrate language through use and being used, ‘action through interaction’. They propose an opportunity to role-play a ‘performance’ between the animate and inanimate.
The pieces are based upon the celebration of function and invention through the over-ellaboration of its visual language as a narrative to entice, tease and seduce play and participation.
I am curious about the slowness within everyday functional objects whose mechanisms are of a primitive and humbling nature: ‘manual’ objects whose use requires fuller physical effort, dedication and investment from the user, promoting the idea that such heightened attention encourages a relationship of gained intimacy and ritual.
The layers of complexcities and compationate details act as invitations welcomimg a behaviourial language of communication to be indulged.
The world of children is populated with imaginary entities. Monsters and fairies can be as real to children as the closets and beds they hide under. That can be scary. In most cases, when a child complains about the monster under his bed, an adult will shine a light under there to prove, through cold harsh logic, that there is no such thing. This approach has to drawbacks: one is that monsters are usually invisible when deliberately searched for. The second is that this rational approach little by little kills of the part of the mind that can imagine on such levels of intensity. This is a loss we are not even aware of until we are all grown up and devoid of imagination. What Dark Matter offers is an IRRATIONAL SOLUTION TO IRRATIONAL FEARS.
It is a fetish object; armed with the toddler’s own fallen milk teeth it provides protection from imaginary monsters. It is not child like in its appearance and will remain relevant in its design for a life time. That’s also why it is made of ceramic material, natural and eternal. It is a vessel for our fears and for our capability to imagine things into being. It should be treasured for a life time and it is meant to outlive us and be passed on.
A range of Ceramic slabs, which explore Borough Market and the surrounding area. Encompassing as many aspects of this location as possible, taking design patterns from anything such as fruit on the stalls, to symbols from the Cathedral, to people I talk to; with a specific focus on market traders and stallholders. I spent much time down there, talking to different people and was able to gain an insight not only into the area and the history of the market but also into the issues which were going on then and now.
The project turned to become more about the stallholders and tradesmen and their views than anything else by the end. For example, Borough Market is one of the biggest tourist attractions in London, it’s so busy on the weekends one might think the market does very well but in truth as it is mainly tourists who are passing through, tasting the odd thing it means the vast majority of people don’t go there to shop; they go to visit and eat at the stalls which have been set up in more recent years, a lot of which have been set up on the side of a butchers stall for example in order to make enough money. This causes problems as tradesmen aren’t selling enough produce. As one stallholder put it “I don’t drive 500 miles to sell burgers, I do it to sell meat.”
These designs are layered using different surface techniques, many of them have been through numerous ceramics processes to create an individual insight of my experience.
Decoration multiplies out of control like bacteria or fungus spreading over a surface. Giddy patterning and adornment show us a world where matter is continuously in motion and mystery can be found in detritus, decay and the mundane. When a subject is pushed to its extreme the opposite may arise; luxury and glamour turn to disintegration, pleasure becomes excess and sweetness turns to nausea. Such play upon the decorative can produce a dark undercurrent.
The work connotes the redundancy and renewal of an object, connecting the past with the present. Using a mix of sources such as antique artefacts, junk shops and museum displays.
The objects exaggerate and parody historical ornamentation. They have an animated life and energy of their own. Pushing the objects into the realm of the fantasy. Such as the Antler vase, in which a scroll shape forms the ears of a vase. In the Pull it together series decorative roping found typically round the rim of vessels spirals out of control, becoming like hair or a tangle web of wires. The works explore modern day lifestyles and anxieties through the adornment appearing to and unravel and fall apart.
Still Life Meltdown is a tale of the space between what we know and what we see. By entering this space the viewer becomes aware of their imaginative reflex to perceive a contextual
narrative when these two are contradictory.
The objects carry familiar features of the everyday however the suggestion of an unfamiliar physical action insinuates a supernatural narrative….
What has happened?
…Is this the end?
In our uncertain gaze the objects appear to deform in front of our eyes; they are in meltdown. We ask if their form will change in time or when we are absent. What we see makes us wonder and it is here, in the space between knowledge and imagination, that the real tale comes alive and is told.
My work is about ‘narrative’ people and relationships. It’s about the act of ‘Telling tales’ of how we view objects and the world around us, people and relationships. After I have made my objects and relinquished them to the firing process they take on there own personality and start to tell there own story. I often find it hard to relate to them as the author. I become a viewer in the third party sense and the original narrative I intended is not necessarily important and it is the viewer’s new relationship and the narrative generated by that relationship which becomes important. It is dialog which is at the root of my creative output; the stories behind the objects and the effect the viewers gaze has on the object.
Ceramics is an interesting vehicle with which to work, with regards to narrative. There is an interesting dynamic created by the curvature of the surface, as the viewer moves round the vessel, the image bends and foreshortens. I feel that there is also a strong time based element created by the 3 dimensionality of the surface. The viewer can never see all the ‘story’ in one go so they are forced to remember in there minds eye what they have seen, this is then influenced by what comes next, far more like a film than a painting.
With Silhouettes and Populous I have pushed this idea further than ever. I have deliberately presented the viewer with figures that have no presupposed identity. It is left up to the viewer then to decide how these people are what they are doing and why they are brought together in this way.
Objects have been sliced up, simplified or re-arranged, transforming what was once familiar into something new. Purity of material is essential, the matt surface is used to absorb or reflect light, and crisp clean edges sit in playful juxtapositions alongside intense detail, pattern and texture.
The classical has been transformed into the contemporary, and the viewer is drawn into the object to look again.
Gold Top milk bottles
Traditional English glass milk bottles have been cast in porcelain, exploring a relationship between industrial reproduction and the handmade. Material qualities that may be accidental marks or imperfections are explored and exposed, then transformed into beautiful details and delicate patterns contrasting to the industrial shape and text of the bottles.
Referencing traditional golden toped milk bottles that were used for the luxury full fat milk from Jersey and Guernsey, a ‘Gold Top’ has been added, making these ‘Luxury’ milk bottles of now.
As well as referring to the hand of the maker, and the process of making, ‘Gold Tops’ bring personal associations to each user: Memories of childhood milk drinking, of milk deliveries, birds pecking at lids, bottles being washed, returned and re-used.
‘Gold Top’ is a contemporary milk bottle that delights the riches of the past
For some time I had been developing a fascination for 18th & 19th century figurative sculpture – Rodin being the prime example – and was looking for a way to work with this. It was one of those eureka moments when I came up with the idea of taking moulds from carefully selected existing figurines, and re-casting them in monochrome concrete. Positioned on plinths, despite their diminutive scale they seemed to take on the very monumentality I had been attracted to in the sculptures and civic statues I’d been looking at.
My figurine search is a continuous one and I’ve hunted through dozens of flea markets and junk shops in England, Europe and America. It turns out to be much more difficult than I imagined to track down the perfect mix of character, scale, stance, form and detail.
Three of the four figurines in the Mint collection were found during a recent trip to Tennessee. I had just about given up hope one day, trawling through roadside ‘antique’ stores in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, until there, collecting dust on a top shelf of the 2nd floor at Riverside Antique Mall, was Knoxville Girl!
Just down the road, and not even high status enough to warrant an indoor location, Tennessee Girl was sheltering from the elements on the front porch of Kinzel Springs Antiques among a cacophony of old junk.
Chattanooga Girl, in her former life, was a ‘chalk ware’ hoopla prize from a 1940s fun fair, and with her dog and grin, a somewhat raunchier version of her English sister, the bonneted Seaside Girl found resting demurely in a south coast junk shop.
Fraught with a mixture of disappointment and elation – my compulsive figurine search goes on!
Mrs Irene Fletcher, former weaver and shop worker passed away aged 86.
Mrs Fletcher, started her working life in the cotton mills where she spent four years before moving to a children’s wear store in Accrington. After several years there she became manageress and she also worked for a sister store in Haslingden at the same time. She was on the Ladies Committee at King Street Working Men’s Club, Accrington, for many years. She was actively involved with the Accrington Sea Cadets Band with her husband, the late Ben, and did much of the administration work.
During the 1950s the couple spent a number of years living in Australia and New Zealand before returning to England. Mrs Fletcher enjoyed knitting, bingo, travelling, dancing and watching snooker.
She leaves two children, and eight grandchildren.
Just a card. I went to see Nellie last Friday. Found her getting ready for her dear boy not yours this time. Those photos you sent are not very clear, what is that? They are a little different to the ones you sent to Nellie. I am surprised at you being taken like that. Well I might have expected it of you, such a modest maid. I saw the young man you made eyes at when I was with you at nelllies.
Seiwa Cunningham is a textile designer with a keen interest in alternative methods of printing and image transfer, with the emphasis on playfulness and experimentation. Seiwa works with layered textures, fabrics and mediums.
Her present preoccupation is with her past and recording her early memories using photographic imagery and text on fabric.
Seiwa also works with elders and those with learning difficulties to produce reminiscences and expressions of self that serve not only as works of art, but also as ‘journals’.
Seiwa on her Reminiscence Dresses:
“I’m not a seamstress. I make no pretence of being one. My sewing can be slapdash and hurried. I don’t care. My reminiscence dresses are ‘sketches’. They have the loose, unfinished, suggested lines of a quick drawing. What I’m trying to do is capture memories – emotions, times and places, quickly.
Our lives and our memories are as imperfect as my stitching. Sometimes a stitch drifts off, intersects another or even comes undone. Isn’t that how life is? I think it is. “
Shay Alkalay & Yael Mer – Tailored Stools
A technique similar to that used in the clothing industry is applied to furniture. A pattern is generated and when assembled, the resulting void is filled with foam. Just as a suit is altered to fit the client, the furniture is custom made and adapted to fit the user be they tall, short, skinny or fat. The process is unconventional in terms of industrialized furniture, in that it proposes a construction technique without a mould. The pattern itself becomes both the defining surface and the mould. In a sense it is a reversal of upholstery in which normally a skin is applied over the stuffing.