Craft and art combine in latest Black Swan exhibition
By fromepudding | Monday, January 07, 2013, 16:14
Black Swan Arts' latest exhibition explores the latest hot topic in the art world – the role of craft in contemporary art.
Max Jacquard's Albion: Green Man which will be on show at the exhibition
In the What is the Work of Art? exhibition, which opens on Saturday January 12, five artists will display work which combine elements of what is often thought of as craft. Among the exhibits will be Max Jacquard's Albion: Green Man, a full-sized human figure made from glass. Also on display will be Meryl Ainslie's Thresholds installation of tiny silver casts and Alison Harper's sculptures knitted from foil crisp packets.
Show curator Kim Wood explains: "There are dictionary definitions of the word craft and they mostly involve some kind of making, often by hand using a particular skill. Yet craft, or rather the social and cultural perceptions of it, have undergone many transformations. It seems that craft can mean many things to many people. Craft as an idea inhabits a shifting topography where its horizons merge with other ideas and constructs, from art and design to performance and spectacle. Craft has a finger in a lot of pies.
"Our first show in January includes work that sits on fluid boundaries between what is 'craft' and 'art'. This exhibition is about allowing ourselves to move our own mental barriers that can stifle creativity and stop us from truly experiencing a great piece of work. Our prejudices about art and craft can mean we place limited value on technique or material in favour of an idea. This exhibition aims to present work that stimulates a different take on the idea of craft, where we hope people can enjoy both the 'art' and 'the work'."
SHIFT: What is the work of art? begins on Saturday January 12 and runs until Saturday 16 February. At the opening night on Friday January 11 there will be a special hot glass-blowing performance by KT Yun, who was recently featured on Kevin McLoud's Man Made Home on Channel Four. Dr Johanna Dahn, Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies in Art and Design at the Bath School of Art and Design, will also be giving a short talk.