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  • Collect 2018. Photo: Sophie Mutevelian

A successful Collect 2018

Collect closed the doors on a very successful 14th edition

This year’s show brought together 40 galleries from 13 countries, filling the Saatchi Gallery with the work of more than 450 of the most talented international craft artists working today. There were 13,000 visits over its four-day run, and sales estimated at £1.4 million.

The pieces exhibited spanned every area of modern craft practice, ranging from hand-woven textiles and art jewellery to ornate cabinetry and glassware.

Representatives from global institutions were in attendance, including the National Museum of Norway, the Ministry of Culture for China, French National Museums and the British Council.

Many acquired significant new objects for their public collections. The V&A made a number of acquisitions over the course of the fair: SASAI Fumie’s urushi sculptural object ‘Kasane 5’ (Katie Jones Japanese Art); Tore Svensson’s gilded steel ‘Bowl’ (Galerie Marzee); Peter Marigold’s ‘SEN’ cabinet (Sarah Myerscough Gallery); Harry Morgan’s concrete-and-glass sculpture (Craft Scotland); and a cotton sculpture from Simone Pheulpin’s ‘Eclipse’ series (Maison Parisienne). Ting Ying (China/UK) furnished the V&A with two pieces: Su Xianzhong’s beautifully delicate ‘Small Paper No. 1’ and Peter Ting’s ‘Flower Bowl No. 8’; while the Ulster Museum acquired Ting’s ‘Flower Bowl No. 9’. First-time exhibitor Cavaliero Finn (UK) contributed two pieces by the Egyptian-born, Wales-based ceramic artist Ashraf Hanna to the V&A’s permanent collection.

In tune with the global surge of interest in ceramic arts, this year’s Collect presented a significant number of exceptional works in stoneware and porcelain. This included the dedicated showcaseMasters of British Studio Pottery, which gave visitors a striking insight into a century of ceramics in Britain, as told by 27 works, ranging from a 1930s tea set by Lucie Rie to a modern-day sculpture by the artist James Rigler. Presented in collaboration with The Fitzwilliam Museum, the galleries Erskine, Hall & Coe, Marsden Woo Gallery and Oxford Ceramics Gallery, this one-off display proved one of the highlights of the fair, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from Collect visitors.

Among the thousands of collectors, art lovers and craft-curious public attending this year’s Collect were a host of illustrious public figures, including Sir Nicholas Serota, Thomas Heatherwick, Diane Abbott, Prue Leith, Sir David Attenborough, Yinka Shonibare, Peter Bazalgette, Fiona Barratt Campbell and Sol Campbell.  

Over the course of the event, five awards were given in recognition of the stand-out objects, installations and displays of this year’s fair. See all the winners here. And  the programme of free talks, supported by Newby Teas, proved hugely popular with the Collect audience, seeing hundreds of visitors engage with diverse artists and exhibitors at the individual Booth Talks, and join thought-leaders and preeminent makers to explore a range of contemporary issues.