Craft: Counterpoints in contemporary making

O3 gallery Oxford

Last week I attended the private view of this exhibition in Oxford. A selection of work from 6 artists who all make contemporary art using traditional craft techniques. The O3 gallery is an unusual commercial gallery, they sell items but within a curated exhibition environment.

Alex Walker a recent graduate is spending 10 days within the gallery performing a durational piece where she will build a human sized clay bowl within the gallery space using only her body. I really loved the excitement of this piece, the unknown and the fact that the artist will not be selling anything at the end of it. I think her work perfectly shows the point of crafting that it can be done for pure pleasure.

Roanna Wells has 4 pieces within the exhibition. I have followed Roanna Wells for a few years now. She uses hand embroidery as a drawing tool to explore mark making in abstract and conceptual ways. 3 Pieces are darning samples created as part of a collaborative project with a clothing brand. More interestingly where the other two pieces where she had used stitch to explore the negative space left after previous patterning had been removed from antique found textiles.

The other artist I found particularly interesting at the exhibition was Sae Murai who is a third year student at Bath Spa University. She used wire French knitting and pins to plot out a map of her journey from home to university.

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