Contemporary artists making waves
As 2017 drew to a close we reflected on how the craft sector has been on the up with even the likes of Vogue declaring craft ruling the catwalk. In looking ahead to 2018, we have identified six makers to keep an eye on in the coming year.
London-based Charlotte is an industrial artist and designer who is inspired by materiality and biomorphic forms. Charlotte graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2012, where she studied Design Products under Tord Boontje. She uses her work to narrate the world as she sees it, conjuring up thought-provoking ideas which push accepted values and boundaries.
She set up Charlotte Kingsnorth Studio in 2013 and has since worked with clients including Bill Gates, Fendi, SHOWstudio, Ampersand, and Christies. Charlotte also took her work to Miami as part in A Future Made in December 2017.
The Hybreed collection brings together vintage furniture frames and fleshy biomorphic upholstery. The chairs are hand-sculpted and stitched giving each chair in the collection its own personality.
Emerging artist and designer Harry Morgan is known for his unusual marrying of materials and experimental approach to the traditional processes. Referencing histories from ancient Venetian glassblowing to Brutalist architecture, his work challenges the physical and cultural connotations of materials.
Since graduating with from Edinburgh College of Art in 2014, Morgan has won several awards including the Award for Emerging Talent at the 2015 British Glass Biennale and a Graduate Craft Award at the 2016 Scottish Craft Awards. His work is held in the permanent collection of the European Museum of Modern Glass in Coburg, Germany and he recently represented the UK at the European Glass Context in Borholm, Denmark.
You can see Harry’s latest work at Craft Scotland’s stand at Collect on 22 – 25 February in London.
Juli is an emerging Latin American designer with a background in Graphic Design, mixed-media and most recently glass. As well as participating in Hothouse and A Future Made, Juli Bolaños-Durman was selected for the Jerwood Makers Open 2017, won the ELLE DECORATION British Design Awards in 2015, and has work included in the collection of Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) Collection.
“I always knew I was an artist” she says. “When it came to choosing what I had to enrol in, my sister was already doing graphic design. My parents told me to get a degree first – something you can fall back on just in case. Then you can do a masters with a bit more maturity and you can specialise. It has worked out OK.”
Forest + Found
Working collaboratively under their studio practice Forest + Found, Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth work with wood, natural pigments, and textiles to produce sculptural and wall-based works. Bainbridge works on sculptures, taking the natural forms of the material as a starting point for carving and working sections of wood into anthropological objects, and Booth produces large, abstract textile pieces that deconstruct the language of drawing and painting using natural pigments to produce fragmented compositions on the wall.
The partnership was founded in late 2014 having met on a fine art degree at Chelsea College of Arts. "There was this particular vibe (at arts school) for post-internet, horrible, hipster art and we just weren’t interested in it," says Booth. "People stopped making things. We were very much about making, process being the way to play out your ideas."
Their practice focuses on materials and processes with an emphasis in using traditional methods of craft to produce sculptural wooden objects and large hand stitched textile pieces. You can see Forest + Found’s latest work at Collect Open as part of Collect on 22 – 25 February in London.
Iranian artist Azita has background in drawing, painting & sculpture. Whilst growing up in Tehran, Azita was exposed to Persian art and culture as well as Iranian politics. “That double exposure increased my sensitivity to the dynamics of vulnerability and violence that I explore in my work and art-making process” she says. The female body is central to her work and she uses beauty as her weapon to address complex socio-political issues. Her use of traditional techniques, skill and delicacy connect her work aesthetically to the art of the past.
Through the collaborative process of casting her nude body, she places herself in a vulnerable situation that challenges her own belief system. Azita mixes imagery with memories and history to “emphasize both inter- and dis-connections between sexual representation and national identity, between the public and the private”.
In 2017, Azita’s work was chosen from a shortlist of 18 international artists for her delicately crafted drawings and won the Young Masters Art Prize. She was also awarded the Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize, an award that supports emerging female artists by gallerist Cynthia Corbett.
Originally from Buenos Aires in Argentina, Silvia grew up part of a generation that experienced the ‘Dirty War’ that took place from 1976 to 1983 where an estimated 30,000 citizens were either killed or seized by the authorities and never heard from again. Silvia was 19 years old in 1976 when the military gained power with a coup d’état and fought to create a more just society.
Silvia’s work often reflects on her experiences in Argentina with an interest in interpersonal relationships and the relationships between family and society as a whole. Using glass as her medium, Silvia is not interested in creating beautiful objects but aims to reveal what is normally hidden, raise issues of the past that affect Argentina today, challenge the viewer, and preserve memories for future generations.
You can see Silvia’s latest work at North Lands Creative’s stand at Collect on 22 – 25 February in London.