R&R at Contemporary Applied Arts

Monday, 7 March 2011

Dorothy Hogg

A new exhibition at London gallery Contemporary Applied Arts aims to highlight the benefits of makers' residencies, which provide designer-makers with research time and newly stimuating environments, and offers a rare insight into the working process of the contemporary designer-maker.

Five different makers are profiled, with each providing a glimpse into the progression of their residency and explaining why the experience was so important to them.

Seafarer by Gary Breeze
The format of the residencies undertaken vary widely, with each maker hailing from a different discipline. Gary Breeze, a wood carver and sculptor, spent 10 months working with the University of Southampton's Archaeology department in 2008, and said of the experience: "During the residency I became fascinated by the ways in which archaeologists represent knowledge... I also learnt new ways of working with a different material, oak." In contrast, jeweller Dorothy Hogg worked at the V&A in a residency founded by the museum and the Craft Council, where the focus was on public engagement projects and making craft accessible to a wide audience.

Deirdre Nelson
Deirdre Nelson's investigations, conducted as part of her residency at Cove Park, took on a more experimental bent and it's fascinating to read her own account of the progression of her work during the period: "I had a growing sense of surveillance, all not being what it seemed... the ever watchful cows sprouted listening devices; the hi vis jackets took on a new life".

Katharine Coleman
Finally, WGSN-homebuildlife loves the intricate patterning and simply cut forms used by glass artist Katharine Coleman in the collection she developed during two residencies at North Lands Creative Glass Centre in Caithness, Scotland. Coleman sums up the benefits of a residency eloquently: "Northlands provided me with that vital opportunity: to fail, and to think again".

'R & R - Residencies and Retreats for Contemporary Makers' is on show at Contemporary Applied Arts in London until 26 March 2011.