Monday 23 June 2014

ICONS: ACJ Symposium

The National Centre for Craft & Design, (NCCD),is hosting this years ACJ exhibition, which is running until the 27th July. This year the theme was "ICONS" and I was fortunate enough to have my piece, made for Patti Smith accepted.

I was also invited this year to speak at the Symposium linked to the exhibition along with Dauvit Alexander and Helen Noakes. This was held on the 21st June, so I travelled up to Lincolnshire on the morning of the midsummer weekend. The NCCD is located in Sleaford, in a converted Seed warehouse and has five gallery spaces plus space for talks, workshops, conferences, clubs, groups, seminars, screenings and short-courses. Laura Mabbutt, the exhibition mananger took care of us for the day and made us all feel very welcome.

I kicked off the presentations with a talk on my piece "Woolgathering" and discussed the ideas behind the work and the materials and processes I used. I also set up a table of objects to handle, including materials and my beloved land camera!

It is always great to meet other makers and hear about what shapes their work and how they think and make. I enjoyed hearing about the material processes behind Helen Noakes' work and the layers of resin that are needed to create the larger works. I also found out that she includes a snow like material that also glows in the dark! I had always enjoyed her works especially the penguin and polar bear pieces but hearing about them makes me enjoy them even more. There are a lot of people who emulate Helen's work and include figures in resin, in similar compositions, but the quality of making and passion for the materials is so fine in this work that it is in a league of its own.

Dauvit Alexander aka “The Justified Sinner” was the third person to present on the day and he spoke about "Fashion:Victim", a piece he made in tribute To Alexander McQueen. It is a very impressive, imposing work and I really enjoyed hearing about the collaborative process he undertook, incorporating elements by other artists which he commissioned to make one piece of jewellery. It was also interesting to hear about how he collected and recycled metals, including steel and iron to make works. He spoke with enthusiasm about working with different metals and their properties, a really individual thinker!

Some of the images were taken by me and some by Poppy Porter and Laura Mabbutt. A few are also from the artists own sites.

Other ACJ folks present on the day were Mark Fenn, Poppy Porter and Emily kidson. Great to meet you all in person!

Having never been to Lincolnshire before it was also a good chance to pop into a National trust property before we raced home to enjoy the last of the midsummer weekend in our own garden!

Here are some images from Belton House, I was particularly taken with some carved wooden decorations by Grinling Gibbons and his students. The gardens include a large Orangery and Italian gardens, which made me want to go and my box plants and start sculpting!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Jo!
    Excellent article. I now want to go to Belton House too!