Our current exhibition, ‘Shades of Summer‘ is a group of artists from the Contemporary Crafts Network (CCN), offering a varied body of work drawing from a range of mediums.
This exhibition runs from 7 June to 26 July in our top floor gallery.
SHADES OF SUMMER
CCN and the Exhibiting Artists statements
CCN is a network of Lincolnshire based craft makers that have formed a close knit group that together exhibit all over the East Midlands and Europe.
Within the group there are specialists in the fields of ceramics, sculpture, felt work, weaving, textiles, silver, gold, jewellery, blown and kiln formed glass, paper, wood and furniture and mixed media.
You can read more about each artist below.
Recycled Glass Art
I use waste glass in my work, often from old windows, which usually ends in landfill sites. I prefer to re-use it and create something with a continuing story.
Inspired by many things such as nature, erosion and architecture, I also enjoy contrasts in texture, tone, light and shadow. The countryside and coast often influence my work with big skies, wild grasses and peeling paint on windswept beach huts. Inclusions such as metal leaf and glass enamels are incorporated along with my own photographic and hand painted details to emphasise the memories I encase within.
Using recycled materials means the final results can be unpredictable adding an element of excitement and anticipation each time I create something new and ensuring every form is as unique as its origins.
Hand making can be illuminating, informative and enlightening. You become involved with the tactile elements of the materials, enabling an intimate relationship to develop with the form and create a piece of work that contains all your ideas, notions and thoughts that reflects your attitude and personality.
The demands of the materials themselves can often decide for you a certain way forward and it is the experience of those demands that I relish.
Working with clay, glass and metals allows me many opportunities to consider and reconsider my design intentions, and experience the reactions of the materials to extreme heat from the kilns or the flame that forces them to do what I have asked of them.
My work offers a snapshot in time, a captured moment in the journey of an object, somewhere along the journey from brand new to its discard and abandonment to nature, where the object will eventually decay into nothingness.
I take inspiration for my surfaces from those created in the natural environment. In particular paint over metal and the results of years of new layers and the weather. I balance these ideas, the complex surfaces and their textures I create with minimal forms, inspired by the architecture of the industrial landscape and recently my exploration of the inherent complexity in a supposed simple geometric form.
I don’t make an object as a corroded old vessel form; I make with care and attention to detail, a pristine new object. At which point I take the piece on a journey, the narrative of its existence. When the moment is right, I stop the journey, fixing it in time.
I create textile sculptures and wall hangings using traditional textile techniques such as quilting, pleating, stuffing and appliqué. I am inspired by many things, decorative architecture and historical events, nature and landscape, word play and language; but most of all by textiles themselves.
Fabric comes in such a wide range of colours, textures and types, from soft luxurious velvet to scratchy hessian, fresh pure white cotton sheeting to heavily encrusted brocade and I find great joy in using the right materials for the right effect (or the WRONG materials for the right effect).
I re-use old fabric and interesting “bits and bobs” sourced from charity shops, antique fairs, jumble sales and donations from friends clothing, along with trimmings, beads and buttons saved over the years from many people and places. Small fragile pieces of beautiful silk and embroidery sometimes have to be mounted onto new fabric, or ways found to incorporate a faded section into the piece of work.
My work often involves community engagement, undertaking design and construction for community plays and festivals, running public workshops in arts and crafts, working as design technician for theme parks and visitor attractions, making costumes, props, puppets and scenery for performing artists and theatrical productions along side working as an exhibiting sculptor and undertaking commissions.
Public workshops are available using coloured and corrugated card and paper for tableau, masks and costume, fabric for decorative crafts, banners and costumes, and willow for lanterns and parade sculptures.
Recent work undertaken includes “Lincolnshire Hedges” and “Seaside” private commissions, “Revival” exhibition of artwork inspired by Gainsborough Old Hall medieval manor house and “Transformation of Waste” exhibition concerning litter in the environment. Also costumes for Nick Treadwell’s “United Pinkdom” Declaration of Independence event and “Cupink”.
Julie is a member of the Contemporary Crafts Network and Kismet Theatre.
Kevin’s imaginary Iceflows, incorporating glass and glass frit (granular glass) give the scene a sense of depth, texture and fluidity, exploring our relationship with this space that we inhabit, ecologically, politically and socially. In this current climate of ‘global warming’ and ‘global dimming’, we all need a reminder of the fragility of our own existence and the responsibilities we have for future generations.
Inspired by the techniques of printmaking and mixed media, I use glass as a blank canvas, layering and printing with enamels to create depth and sometimes tactile surfaces. The process of making is the most important aspect to me, working directly with the materials to see where it takes me and how the piece evolves.
I have been involved in feltmaking for a considerable length of time, but the excitement of transforming fibre into a stable fabric, and the infinite and varied ways of doing so , never ceases to fulfil and provoke me.
Expressing this joy with colour whether it is using a delicate palette , or a shockingly vibrant one is one of my prime concerns.
Hand Blown and Kiln Formed Studio Glass
I enjoy working in both two and three dimensions and work with both hot and cold glass. My work revolves around the underlying themes of ‘movement and change’. I take a panorama or a sequence of photographs of a chosen subject and develop my designs through the use of a wide variety of drawing media and model making. I am drawn to geometric form, optical illusion, sacred geometry and the symbolism that surrounds it and I see a geometric form as a type of boundary to be broken; a challenge to see how far it can be taken, using glass and its unique optical qualities as a means of expression and communication.
I am also fascinated by the way that the light changes as it travels across the landscape, especially over Lincolnshire Wolds; an area of outstanding natural beauty where I live; an area that is a constant source of inspiration. The Wolds themselves have many barriers and boundaries that have led me to a new range of work based around physical and human barriers, breaking down the glass and ‘rebuilding’ it to create delicate but strong pieces of immense beauty.
Does a Hammer Have a Heart?
This body of work comes from the love of my memories of spending time with my father and grandfather, in their workshops or at work.
These tools have been cast from originals; they hold all the patina and marks created from years of use. Although the tools I cast from are useless for their original working purpose as tools because many are damaged or broken they still hold memories for me. This inspired me to think about the non-functional side of tools, and how even that dimension had a function. This in turn led me to think about a way of representing this concept in a physical form and brought to mind the saying as useless as a glass hammer, and led me to question it?
These tools are made through the process of lost wax casting.
I first came across the fusing of glass as a ceramics student in the final year of my degree in 1999. The excitement of the making and firing process motivated an overwhelming and new interest.
The anticipation and apprehension when opening the kiln awoke a new found passion and focus – never quite knowing if a new experiment would bring a successful fusion, another technical problem or an accidental ‘wow’!
I am intrigued by the technical experimentation of compatible materials and firing temperatures.
I adore the marriage of design and aesthetics, focusing on colour and shape combinations, compositional balance and the quality of the finished piece.