23 July – 21 August, 2011
“Excellent & inspiring – will definitely visit again” – visitor comment
This summer we focus on work by seven artists who employ traditional materials and techniques of textiles and ceramics, but manipulate and twist them into different forms, altered meanings and new directions. Wriggling out of the traditional domain of ‘craft’, these objects escape the plinth, shelf and glass cabinet, occupying the gallery as unconventional wall pieces and installations that you can walk through and explore.
Kay Aplin takes references from the world around her, observing pattern, form, colour, symmetry and asymmetry in nature and architecture. She is fascinated by tactile properties, surface texture, how light affects colour and the material’s reflective qualities. She often works in a site-specific way and in this gallery setting, the hand-crafted tiles, each unique, gather en masse to form a solid wall of gently undulating mineral hues.
Rosalind Davis turns plain fabrics into ornate articles of clothing which incorporated into installations of lustrous, floating forms. Her dressmaking vocabulary encompasses innovative pattern cutting and the transformation of surfaces using paint, latex, flock, pvc and embroidery. Her mixed media paintings explore the power and presence of seemingly barren urban landscapes whose historical, social and political backgrounds are stitched and painted into a synthesis of architectural dimensions.
Rosie James uses the sewing machine as a drawing tool. The marks created through stitching have a unique texture and movement which can only be created by thread on cloth. Coupled with a range of sheer, translucent fabrics, these free-hanging drawings overlap to form a clustered ‘crowd’ of layered images based on the human figure. As we wander through the groups of life-size bodies, we begin to pick out individuals and look for clues about who they are and what they are doing.
Marion Michell’s diminutive garments are simultaneously charming and grotesque, evoking a range of ambiguous and contradictory emotions. Evocative of body, instinct, and desire, the pieces recall childhood moods and fairy tales, with their accompanying sense of not feeling quite ‘right’. She uses the slow and deliberate process of crochet to express a range of sensations in a physical form.
Karin Schosser makes unique ceramic wall pieces that combine three-dimensional forms with richly glazed surfaces. Influenced by cosmology, randomness, chance and the dynamic between order and chaos, her work is inspired by nature, particularly the atmospheric moods of natural and urban landscapes. She is fascinated by the subtle variety of effects that can be achieved with glazes and continues to research new possibilities.
Isobel Smith creates ‘stills’, which are powerful, static scenes derived from the dream-like narratives of her puppet shows. Using fairy tales as inspiration, she explores their rich layers of meaning using a mixture of pathos, wit and humour. Tangled skeins of hair, fox fur, puppets and pieces of clothing are twisted together into miniature tableaux of haunting and supernatural beauty.
Alice Walton experiments with hand building techniques, pushing the clay to its limits and enjoying unexpected results. A mixture of clay and porcelain is extruded into thin strips which are shaped and twisted into delicate structures. In this installation she explores the dualities inherent in the image of a cage, which appears lightweight and fragile, yet which can also function as an isolating and restrictive prison.
TWIST & MAKE MARKET
Saturday 13 August, 11 am – 5 pm, free entry.
A special event featuring over twenty market stalls selling fine craft, plus taster workshops, cakes and cocktails, surprise events and our favourite DJ’s. Drop in workshops include machine embroidery, ceramics and flamboyant fashion, and are suitable for adults and ages 12+. £1 – 3 contribution towards materials. The event also marks the launch of our specialist arts courses programme for September – May. Visit www.phoenixbrighton.org for details and updates.
The Haptic Arts: What Future?
Has growing interest and support of IT technology in the arts led to a decline in traditional workshop facilities and training? A panel of experts will discuss the long term effects of this policy and offer practical strategies for artists.
Thursday 18 August, 7 pm. Free, but advance booking required through email@example.com