Happy new year! My first exhibition visit this year was CROP at the Sarah Myerscough Gallery in south London – a great start.
The exhibition focuses on artists who work with natural materials and traditional craft skills, combined with concern for the environment.
I was initially attracted by the inclusion of work by Tim Johnson, whose exhibition Lines and Fragments I have previously reviewed. More of his fabulous Keeping Time vessels were on show here.
There were other familiar names too. Laura Ellen Bacon’s buff willow bench took pride of place in the window.
Diana Scherer grows textiles from plant roots – her work was featured in the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition a couple of years ago.
Of the artists that were new to me, Naoko Serino stood out for her ethereal felted jute sculptures.
Soojin Kang uses jute too, along with silk and linen, in her wrapped, bound and knotted work.
I also loved Caroline Sharp’s delicate pods made from willow and birch retaining the catkins.
Not technically part of the exhibition but certainly worth a look are a couple of ceramic vessels by Luke Fuller, who makes layered moulds which burn away during firing, leaving textured pieces reminiscent of rock fractures and geological faults.
CROP runs at the Sarah Myerscough Gallery, The Old Boathouse, 1 White Hart Lane, London SW13 0PX until 31 January 2020.
“Understanding particular properties of particular plants during identification, harvest, processing, selection and finally making not only equips ourselves for making tasks in hand but also gives us a deeper connection to place and its complexity.”
The artist and basketmaker Tim Johnson has spent the past 25 years exploring the relationship between place and material, as this exhibition at the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham makes clear.
Take the series of 42 little bags simply hung in three rows on the wall (and I would happily take them, every single one). It’s a fascinating display of sampling – the same technique with different materials, or the same materials with different techniques. Each one is absorbing in its details and range of possibilities.
His 2D Lines and Fragments series also incorporates found objects as well as earth pigments, dried herbs and fruit.
And his Curve series moves on with willow and earth pigments to develop the 3D form.
The Cortina works play with light and shadow – I particularly like the use of dried bean pods here.
Another one used yellow plastic coated wire.
My favourite pieces were the Keeping Time baskets.
I particularly loved the cross sections of the bulrushes when close up.
Tim lives just outside Barcelona with another basketmaker, Monica Guilera, and there were some collaborative pieces on show.
It was also interesting to see some of the sources of his inspiration, including a squashed lampshade found in the road. 🙂
Lines and Fragments runs at the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham until 31 August 2019.