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  • Skin Deep (Of Human Colour), Natasha Daintry, 2013. Represented at COLLECT by Adrian Sassoon

Seven things you should know about COLLECT

Visitors can expect to see a slew of returning, established galleries
This year’s COLLECT, which runs from 8–11 May at London’s Saatchi Gallery, embraces 35 galleries. Familiar names include Adrian Sassoon, Yufuku Gallery, The Gallery at London Glassblowing, Ruthin Craft Centre, Contemporary Applied Arts, Gallery S O and Galerie Marzee, to name just a handful. 

But there’s a particular focus on new talent this year, as well
A fifth of galleries showing this year are new to COLLECT including the first live exhibition by Lithuanian online gallery Art-Cart, ARTCOURT Gallery from Japan, Micheko Galerie from Germany and the UK’s Cynthia Corbett Gallery presenting work from its inaugural Young Masters Ceramics Prize. And it’s not just the galleries that are new, as there are plenty of artists showing for the first time, too. As you wander the Saatchi keep an eye out for the ‘New to COLLECT’ notices highlighting artists new to the fair.

Work from Kayoko Mizumoto, Represented at COLLECT by Michenko Galerie

COLLECT Open pushes boundaries
Those familiar with COLLECT will notice that the experimental installations once known at Project Space have undergone a makeover and are now COLLECT Open. But the aim hasn’t changed, it’s still a place in which to expect the unexpected as artists and makers push at the boundaries of their practice. For 2015, COLLECT Open will show work by six individuals and two collectives. To whet your appetite: designer Katrin Spranger will be showing a 3D-printed jewellery sculpture using dehydrated honey and edible gold leaf, while textile artist Rita Parniczky is creating a 3m piece inspired by the tracery of fan-vaulting. 

And if that isn’t enough, there’s a trio of special exhibits launching at the show
There’s plenty to see in addition to the galleries with solo shows from Tord Boontje and Ann Sutton as well as the premier of the Crafts Council’s next exhibition. Visitors on the first floor can help celebrate textile artist Sutton’s 80th birthday with new work thanks to Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, whereas Chairy Tales, an installation of chairs by Boontje, creates a mini-retrospective. Head up to the top floor to see a preview of the Crafts Council’s next touring show I AM HERE, presenting jewellery from the birth of New Jewellery to the present day with work by Karl Fritsch, Wendy Ramshaw and Gerda Flockinger.

WEDNESDAY ROCKER, Tord Boontje. PHOTO: ANGELA MOORE

Want to learn a bit more? Head to a talk
There are events programmed across the fair. Some of the themed talks look particularly interesting with David Clark, Hazel Thorn and Nic Webb on volatility within making and folk singer and wilderness expert Sam Lee talking to ceramist Adam Buick and leather artist Laura Youngson Coll about place and nature. Oh and Crafts magazine are getting in on the act with editor, Grant Gibson, who will be discussing collecting with Adrian Sassoon, Sarah Griffin and Beverley Rider on 9 May while deputy editor Teleri Lloyd-Jones will be walking and talking with COLLECT Open artists on 11 May. Do feel free to pop along. 

There’s time for a dance, too
Contemporary dance comes to COLLECT in the shape of a collaboration between artist Caroline Broadhead (represented by Marsden Woo Gallery) and choreographer Angela Woodhouse. Sighted, performed by Stine Nilsen within a lake of mirror shards and described as ‘breathtaking’ by Time Out, will be repeated several times daily at the fair. But you’ll have to be quick, each performance is limited to an audience of 20 on a first come first served basis.

Dancer: Stine Nilsen. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Sighted (2009) was originally commissioned by Royal Opera House Deloitte Ignite Festival and produced by The Place Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England, Middlesex University, and Central Saint Martins School of Art.

And if you fancy going further afield
A tube stop or bus ride from COLLECT you’ll find the Victoria & Albert Museum, where the Crafts Council’s partnership exhibition What is Luxury? has just opened. The show, in what could be viewed as a conceptual companion piece to COLLECT, interrogates ideas of luxury in contemporary design and making. If you feel like going further afield, London Craft Week, 6-10 May, in its inaugural year, has brought together a programme of open studios, talks and shows spanning from tattoo parlours in the East End to Fortnum & Mason
We hope you enjoy the show.

This is taken from Crafts Guide to COLLECT 2015 which comes free with the May/June issue of Crafts Magazine launching on 30 April

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