At the start of Alzheimers Awareness Week we’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with Made in the Middle and What Can I Do to Make It Ok? exhibiting artist, Karina Thompson, on making a memory blanket for Ashfield Lodge Care Home in Sleaford.
The National Centre for Craft & Design is committed to ensuring our programme is open and accessible to all of our communities. This project is one way that we can support people suffering from memory loss or dementia and help them with reminiscence through craft. We very much support the research about the benefits of incorporating arts and creativity within healthcare settings, which have been long advocated.
The drop in session on Sat 13 May will be an opportunity for people see Karina working on her digital embroiderer and also see old Singer sewing machines in action, whilst learning new skills to contribute to the community piece. The finished blanket will be donated to Ashfield Lodge Care Home. In generating some initial content for the workshop the learning team at The National Centre for Craft & Design took part in some outreach sessions to Ashfield Lodge Care home, collecting memories and getting to know residents.
The blanket will be called ‘The Remembered Hug’ and as well as residents and members of the public, several local textiles groups will also be helping us make something beautiful and meaningful.
Karina Thompson is a textile artist based in Birmingham and has been exhibiting her work since 1987. Much of Karina’s recent work examines how we use biomedical data to communicate and understand the world around us. Recently Karina has been working closely with the Centre for Robotic Research at Kings College London, thread producers Benton and Johnson and Pfaff sewing machines to integrate e-textiles into her studio practice.
Find out more about Karina’s work here
Here & Now leads a celebratory season of textiles at NCCD and presents the first major showcase of the artform in England for over 20 years.
In thinking about the show, the first questions that Curator, Professor Lesley Millar tackled were ‘is tapestry relevant?’ and ‘will people be interested in an exhibition of it?’ She concluded a resounding ‘yes’ to both given the societal hunger for textural experience – on a superficial level witness the constant caress of the screen – coupled with a desire for personalised and unique expression, which finds correspondence with time-based and handmade activity. Tapestry has the power to become a subversive membrane between the virtual and the textural, the instant and the long term, the hasty and considered.
As our lives become more instant and the news more demanding and ever present, the time for reflection is hard to find. The exhibition offers the view that there is a potent space for woven tapestries to occupy, hold and tell the stories of our time. Works range from being witty, painful and beautiful, reflecting the power and harmony of nature, to social concerns and fears for the future of the world.
The artists selected represent, but do not define, an international cohort who are committed to tapestry weaving and who refuse to sit still, who are constantly pushing boundaries and perceptions, producing beautiful and challenging work. They are all excited, dedicated and creating tapestries that are as reflective of the times we live in now, as the tapestries produced in centuries past.
Don’t miss our programme of special events and workshops that accompany the show – please see the our website for more information.
Included in our Cause & Effect exhibition is the artwork, Invisible Homeless by Luke Jerram, made as part of an Arts Council England funded residency at the Glass Hub, UK. The work portrays a life size form of a figure shrouded in a blanket made of glass, casting a ghost like presence that appears vulnerable and fragile, and makes a comment on the growing numbers of hidden and invisible homeless people.
‘For every person you see sleeping on the streets, there are many others sleeping in hostels, squats and other forms of unsatisfactory and insecure accommodation. I hope the artwork will raise awareness of the problem and that the public will feel moved…to make a difference.’ – Luke Jerram
In response to the work, NCCD is inviting visitors to donate an item of food that will initially contribute to a poignant community artwork. At the end of the summer, donations will go to Sleaford’s Community Larder, supporting local people in need. (Donations until Sun 4th Sept)
Our Activity Zone provides an opportunity to think about themes within the exhibition through craft and making and we have chosen to further highlight the issues dealt with in Jerram’s work through Tent Art. A specially designed tent structure provides a blank canvas on which visitors are invited to add their thoughts and designs about the idea of ‘home’ and contribute to the piece to welcome or shelter people.
Help raise awareness of the issues described above by donating an item of non-perishable food or contributing to our Activity Zone piece.
‘If you like your ceramics Mr Whippy style..’ is how the Crafts Council playfully referred to our new exhibition, Anton Alvarez: Alphabet Aerobics, last week.
But that’s just one way of describing how the clay looks as it squeezes through alphabet templates from the artists latest machine, designed especially for the National Centre for Craft & Design. See what The Telegraph Luxury and Disegno have got to say too.
The show is continually evolving with new works being extruded from the machine daily. Make sure you visit the show to make up your own mind about what you see. Don’t forget to let us know what you think!
Machine extruding times are 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm daily.
Until Sun 5 Jun 2016
Our sister organisation, Design Nation (DN) recently interviewed our Head of Exhibitions, Bryony Windsor, who curated our current exhibition, Furniture: Methods of Making. The show is a wide ranging look at contemporary furniture design and manufacture in 2016 and includes a diversity of talent from across the British Isles, including Design Nation members Angus Ross and Simon Yates. We thought that visitors to the National Centre for Craft & Design website would like to read the full interview too.
Q. Bryony, what particularly interests you about contemporary furniture making at the moment?
Bryony: I’m interested in the merger between traditional furniture making skills and modern technology. Contemporary makers are embracing a wide variety of skills and tools whilst keeping the traditions of their craft at the heart of their practice.
Q. What were you looking for when you chose the exhibiting makers?
A. For this exhibition in particular, I was looking for a variety of established makers who use different methods of making contemporary furniture. I wanted to exhibit artists from across the UK and have chosen artists from as far South as Exeter and as far North as Aberfeldy.
Q. Can you tell us about the film projecctions within the exhibition?
A. The studio visits to film artists formed an essential part of the exhibition. I’m always surprised and excited when I see an artist at work and I wanted the audience to experience this as well. Seeing eight different approaches to making within the same field was very stimulating.
Q. Do you have a favourite piece in the show and if so why?
A. I have a favourite piece by each artist but not one overall. When I look at the pieces I see the making process behind them and the passion that was evident when we captured the artists at work in the films.
Q. And what do you find interesting about the two DN makers and their work?
A. Angus and Simon’s work is both visually intriguing and exceptionally crafted. I love the process that Angus uses of steam bending and the traditions that he keeps alive at his Scottish studio. Simons’ work is pushing the boundaries of contemporary furniture; his sculptures challenge the imagination and the material he uses.
Q. And do you have any preferences in Angus & Simon’s pieces?
A. Angus’s Unstable Stool is a design classic – it is innovative, practical and wonderfully simple at the same time. Simon’s ash plinth is technically brilliant, he has shaped all of the parts by hand to create a remarkable plinth for your most treasured possession to adorn.
Furniture: Methods of Making runs until Sunday 28 February 2016.
Content compiled by Liz Cooper, Programme Manager, Design-Nation.
Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry
Reviewed by Beth Lambert, NCCD Gallery Assistant
Have you heard of Grayson Perry? Well, you should have. He’s an artist with many feathers in what would be a rather stylish hat; a recognised international artist and potter who has exhibited at National galleries such as The National Portrait Gallery, London and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The international success which followed exhibitions at the The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Barbican Art Gallery, London led him to win the turner prize in 2003. Presenter of recent channel four telly programmes, including ‘Grayson Perry: Who Are You?’ He is also motorbike riding, teddy bear carting, truth speaker of the contemporary art world. His latest book published in September 2014 adds another feather to his hat, and lovely one it is.
“The need to express oneself runs very, very deep. The problem is often accessing this need, this primitive creative urge that we all have, without the self-consciousness that so curses teenagers and the art world alike.”
Playing to the Gallery offers readers an amusing yet realistic glimpse of the art world. Painting a concise picture of the inner workings of art institutions, curators, art dealers, collectors and the general public. He presents a selection of whip cracking boundary posts for the confused and intrepid art explorer, with the hopes that this will help answer the age-old question. What counts as art? Art history and art theory are fondly presented alongside some of Perry’s delightful and vibrant illustrations (perfect for all those who like pictures in their books). He explores the shock value of art and the main problem facing contemporary artists and art students today, originality. Perry also offers readers a glimpse into his feelings on creativity and his journey as an ‘Essex transvestite potter.’ The whole book is crafted with plain talking and sprinkled with humour.
If you’ve been wanting to learn more about the art world today, or fancy brushing up on your art theory. This book is perfect for those looking for a light yet comprehensive introduction and a little bit of encouragement.
‘Drawing is a means of obtaining and communicating knowledge’ – John Ruskin
The Campaign works hard to raise the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. It has created a new regard for the power of drawing to help people see, think, invent and take action.
The Campaign’s long-term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived by educationalists and the public. This has won support from leading practitioners in the creative industries and in art, architecture and design colleges, signalling an overdue realisation that drawing is fundamental to the training of students in these disciplines. But the Campaign also takes a wider view. It sees drawing as a basic human skill that is useful in all walks of life.
The Campaign’s work will finish when the words ‘I can’t draw’ are dropped from our vocabulary!
Our Big Draw event on Sat 25 Oct (10am – 4pm) is FREE to attend and provides an opportunity to work alongside artists, designers and makers to explore drawing in all its forms.
Unleash your creativity on this year’s theme – ‘It’s Our World’ which celebrates our urban, rural and coastal environments. Let your imagination run wild with Phiona Richards and help her to fill an endless scroll of zentangles leading up our stairwell; join artist and illustrator Kate Robotham to create simple picture postcards of your local landscape; visit Printers Inc and try your hand at creative relief or collograph prints on our printing press; or roll up your sleeves and spend some time exploring large scale stencils and graffiti with Richard Knight. And if all that wasn’t enough, you can spin buckets and plates of paint with Dave Bramston and MA students from Lincoln University, using special drawing machines developed in collaboration with students in Beijing.
We’re proud to be a supporter of the campaign to get everyone drawing and hope you’ll join us on 25 Oct for this free, fun filled day of events and activities.
Every year at The National Centre for Craft & Design we host an exhibition called Class of…, showcasing the abundance of graduate talent and creativity from some of the UK’s leading colleges and universities.
Our Class of 2014 exhibition is due to open on Sat 11 Oct in our Roof Gallery space. But how do we select who to exhibit and what can you expect to see?
Find out more with our Head of Exhibitions, Bryony Windsor:
How do we decide who to exhibit in the Class of… exhibitions?
Every year our curatorial team selects work from New Designers, London to showcase at The National Centre for Craft and Design. New Designers presents the very best emerging talent from craft and design courses throughout the UK. Class of 2014 brings together our curators’ pick of the young talent we saw at the show this year.
What do you look for when you are selecting makers to exhibit?
We search out artists demonstrating innovation in design, concept and quality of making. We pride ourselves on exhibiting makers who go on to achieve greatness in the field. This year we have seen innovation across all mediums and our selection for Class of 2014 celebrates this through the work of 10 artists.
Why visit Class of 2014?
Class of 2014 is an opportunity for visitors to see the cream of the craft & design crop and support artists in the early stages of their careers. Keep an eye on these makers to see how their work develops and how their practice blossoms in the future.
Give us a sneak preview of the makers being shown in Class of 2014…
Adriana Tavares and Elizabeth Ryan explore contemporary designs in textiles, Hannah Chapman and Emily Lippitt exhibit avant garde sculptural jewellery while Scarlett San Martin challenges perceptions of conventional materials with furniture and lighting. Aimee Bollu’s contemporary ceramics are thought provoking and Grant Heron’s humorous video installation on the 4th floor landing is the perfect introduction to this year’s exhibition. Karoline Healy showcases her ideas about modern manufacturing and Beatrix Baker’s nautical sculptures are proof that traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design are a match made in heaven.
As Head of Exhibitions I’m proud to promote young British talent and the Universities that foster it.
Class of 2014 has been curated by Laura Mabbutt, Gallery Manager and Dale Fearnley, Exhibitions Assistant.
See the show from Sat 11 Oct – Sun 30 Nov 2014.
If you haven’t visited Meekyoung Shin’s Cabinet of Curiosities yet, perhaps the feedback from others who’ve explored the show will inspire you.
‘I really enjoyed this exhibition, full of unexpected surprises.’
‘Truly amazing and breath taking, I cannot believe it is soap.’
‘Back for the third time. Can’t keep away. A wonderful exhibition.’
‘Absolutely stunning work!’
One of our favourite elements of the show is that it is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the nose! But don’t take our word for it, come along and experience the exhibition for yourself.
Meekyoung Shin’s stunning soap sculptures will be with us until Sun 2 Nov 2014.
On 3rd June NCCD Young Designers initiated an Instagram campaign called #justsculpt91, in order to celebrate our 91 days
of sculptural workshops at The National Centre for Craft Design, and we would like people to contribute their sculptural pictures, (which may even result in an exhibition/event at the end
It’s really easy and anyone and everyone is welcome to add their images. All you have to do is make sure that you keep a creative eye open during the day, look out for the sculptural things around you, take a picture, upload it on Instagram, have a go at some editing if you feel like it and add #justsculpt91 to the description
so that it is added to the #justsculpt91 feed.
If you go onto Instagram now search #justculpt91 and you’ll get
to see all of the fantastic images that we have already collected!
If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to contact Alice: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the NCCD Young Designers for up and
Saturday 6th September: Spending as long or as little time as you would like, feel free to join Lincolnshire One Venues Project Worker, Alice, as we tour around The NCCD and create some drawings from Meekyoung Shin’s exhibition, take photographs and add to
the #justsculpt91 Instagram portfolio in order to share your creations with others!
To book a place, please email: email@example.com or telephone: 01529 308 710.
Share your Summer of Sculpture with us on Instagram! To celebrate our 91 days of sculpture here at NCCD Young Designers we want your pictures. Post them and use#justsculpt91.
Lincolnshire One venues is a network of 10 arts venues across Lincolnshire that work together to bring the county’s residents the very best arts and culture and create a range of exciting activities and events for and by young people.
Over the last two years LOV has been developing a brand new way of working challenging how venues and cultural organisations work together to become stronger and more adaptable in the current economic climate. We also look to the future, making sure that
the county’s arts venues are supporting young people to be part of the cultural landscape in Lincolnshire and to create a culture shift amongst young people, schools and families in the way they
access and perceive what we offer.
Through funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and support from Arts Council England the LOV Young People’s Programme is engaging young people aged 12-25 in a range of projects and opportunities to give them the chance to be audience members, artists, producers and programmers within our venues…
Here at the NCCD we have introduced NCCD Young Designers,
a regular Saturday morning session for young people aged 12-15 years and recently taken part in a visual arts commission with The Collection and Usher Gallery. Visit our news and opinion section for more information.
Interest in sewing in the UK is rising – you can see that by the popularity of programmes like BBC 2’s Great British Sewing Bee. Maybe its popularity is driven by the financial climate, but just as
we want to know where our food comes from, now we are also concerned about where products come from and how they
We care about saving money but also about adding value by making or altering things ourselves. The spirit of ‘make do and mend’ has been revived, and with it the barrage of skills commonly once practiced by our grandparents are in demand again.
Sewing should be considered and taught as an everyday life-skill, missing button anyone? But where do you learn the skills if you did not get them at your mother or grandmother’s knee or at school?
Emma Ronald, who is a textile expert and learning officer at the NCCD, is a life-long lover of sewing. Responding to demand,
she has recently initiated a sewing club for beginners and
sewers who have lost confidence or skills.
The classes are very popular, and not just for the sewing tips –
they are are all about building confidence. Many of Emma’s
sewers say they can now tackle projects that they would never
have considered before.
‘It was just the kick start to restoring my confidence that I needed’ says one participant. ‘I can use a sewing machine, cut out patterns and I’ve made cushions with appliqué, which looked impossible to me before I started. It’s such a buzz to be able to
turn around and say, I made that myself’.
At the start of Alzheimers Awareness Week we’re delighted to have the…
Here & Now leads a celebratory season of textiles at NCCD…
Included in our Cause & Effect exhibition is the artwork, Invisible Homeless…
‘If you like your ceramics Mr Whippy style..’ is how the…
Our sister organisation, Design Nation (DN) recently interviewed our Head of Exhibitions,…
Book Review Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry Reviewed by…
‘Drawing is a means of obtaining and communicating knowledge’ – John Ruskin Every…
Every year at The National Centre for Craft & Design we…
If you haven’t visited Meekyoung Shin’s Cabinet of Curiosities yet, perhaps…
On 3rd June NCCD Young Designers initiated an Instagram campaign called…
Lincolnshire One venues is a network of 10 arts venues across…
Interest in sewing in the UK is rising – you can…