From mechanical marvels in Ruthin to pots with personality in London
Here’s our pick of the best craft shows happening across the nation this month. To discover more exhibition highlights, check out the latest issue of Crafts magazine.
We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South
This show at Margate’s Turner Contemporary puts work by 20 African-American artists in the spotlight. Made between the 1950s and the present, many pieces are on display in the UK for the first time – including the famous quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, which are made by reusing old clothes.
Until 3 May at Turner Contemporary, Margate
The Crafts Council are launching a new gallery space in London with Maker's Eye: an exhibition curated by 13 craftspeople, who were each asked to select objects from the Crafts Council's collection that answer the question 'What does craft mean to you?'
28 March – 20 June at the Crafts Council Gallery, London
Rethreading and Retracing: Textiles & Techniques by Bita Ghezelayagh
The Iranian-Italian textile artist Bita Ghezelayagh combines traditional embroidery with found objects in this solo show at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery, which explores her Iranian cultural heritage.
27 February – 3 May at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery, London
The Arts & Crafts of Politics
Making and socialist thought unite in the writings, designs and illustrations of John Ruskin, William Morris and Walter Crane, brought together in the aesthetic surroundings of Blackwell, The Arts Crafts House in the Lake District.
Until 19 April at Blackwell, The Arts Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere
Connections | Connessioni
Ranging from the traditional to the tech-forward, this show at The Lighthouse in Glasgow brings together a diverse mix of contemporary pieces, made by the UK’s Association for Contemporary Jewellery and its Italian sister organisation, l’Associazione Gioiello Contemporaneo.
Until 17 May at The Lighthouse, Glasgow
Feather sculptures by Kate MccGwire are due to dot the grand 18th-century interiors of Harewood House in Yorkshire. A new commission titled Cavort uses hundreds of feathers from pheasants, which would once have roamed on the estate, to create a riot of colour in the Yellow Drawing Room.
19 March – 16 August at Harewood House, Yorkshire
Spanning ceramics, jade, bronze, lacquer and glass, this show at SOAS’ Brunei Gallery focuses on eating and drinking in China, from the Neolithic period to the 19th century.
Until 21 March at Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London
Martin Smith: Little Machines
Encompassing everything from clapping machines to flapping birds, artist-engineer Martin Smith’s solo show at Ruthin Craft Centre in Denbighshire, Wales, features 30 intricate automata. Each of these mechanical sculptures is made from scratch, down to the last screw.
Until 29 March at Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire
Shawanda Corbett: Neighbourhood Garden
Corvi-Mora is presenting Shawanda Corbett’s first solo show, which features a whole cast of ceramic vessels inspired by the characters of her neighbours. Discover the emerging African-American artist’s work in the March/April issue of Crafts magazine.
19 March – 25 April at Corvi-Mora, London
Fabric: Touch and Identity
This show at Compton Verney in Warwickshire takes a sensual look at textiles and clothing, bringing together work by Raisa Kabir, Cathy de Monchaux and Reiko Sudo, who was commissioned to create an installation of hanging fans.
14 March – 14 June at Compton Verney, Warwickshire
A group show at Sarah Myerscough Gallery unites makers creating geologically-inspired work using rock, clay or salt: Adam Buick, Fernando Cassampere, Luke Fuller, Roxanne Lahidji, Aneta Regel and Collin Townsend Velkoff.
Until 9 April at Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London
Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond
Spanning both indoor and outdoor spaces at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, this exhibition features large-scale sculptures by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, who often uses fabric, needlework and crochet for her vibrant pieces.
7 March 2020 – 3 January 2021 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
Fine Cell Work: Human Touch
Famous contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei and Wolfgang Tilmans collaborated with highly skilled prisoners, trained by the charity Fine Cell Work, to create this exhibition of finely stitched artworks at Sotheby’s.
26 February – 3 March at Sotheby’s, London
Ceramic Art London
The annual fair focusing on all things clay is back for another year, bigger than ever. CAL returns with over 100 makers showing their wares alongside a programme of talks and events. Speakers include Magdalene Odundo OBE and The Great Pottery Throw Down judge Sue Pryke.
20–22 March at Central Saint Martins, London
Threads of Change
Textile artist Alice Kettle uses both antique sewing machines and cutting-edge technology to create her painterly wall panels. For this solo show at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, she is exhibiting vibrant pieces made in collaboration with women and children refugees and asylum seekers.
Until 17 April at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Think Plastic: Materials and Making
This show at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh explores environmentally friendly approaches to plastics, juxtaposing everyday items with the work of makers including jewellery Carla Edwards, ceramicist Lorna Fraser and tapestry weaver Fiona Hutchinson.
Until 17 May at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh