A new exhibition from Crafts Study Centre in Farnham will interrogate the cultural gaps in collecting. Who collects? Whose work is collected? And how can we diversify the histories we record to meet the needs of today?
Presence and Absence is curated by Deirdre Figueiredo with Dr Stephen Knott. Although the selection of works will be fundamentally based on the CSC’s permanent collections and archives, as independent curators they will seek new meanings from the careful assemblage of artefacts and records drawn from the foundation years of the CSC up to the present day.
The exhibition will, however, not be driven, as in the past, by a consideration of the work of a sole maker, curator or artist-trustee. It will directly respond to the gaps in the CSC collections. It will speak to the lack of a full diversity in collecting; the absence of work by makers of cultural backgrounds that are other than white British. It will ask why, how and why not? It will lay out the strengths and the weaknesses of the collection, and establish a profound benchmark for a new collecting regime, where a full and diverse range of practitioners, students, researchers and visitors might feel that the collection is relevant to their needs, interests and histories.