An interview with the curator of Furniture: Methods of Making
This month we caught up with our colleague Bryony Windsor, Head of Exhibitions at The National Centre for Craft & Design, to talk about their major exhibition “Furniture: Methods of Making”. This is a wide-ranging look at contemporary furniture design and manufacture in 2016, looking at a diversity of talent across the British Isles and including Design-Nation members Angus Ross and Simon Yates.
We asked Bryony what particularly interests her 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.
This thoughtfully presented exhibition continues at The National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire until Sunday 28 February 2016. More information is on the NCCD website.
Blog entry by Liz Cooper, Programme Manager, Design-Nation
Photos courtesy Claire Righini Brand & NCCD