Wandering around Collect 2015 at the Saatchi Gallery was a little bit like being in the classiest marketplace you’ve ever experienced . The exhibition platforms 35 of the world’s most renowned international galleries showcasing emerging and established contemporary craft artists and for me it really captured the breadth and variety of practices within the craft world. There were rooms that felt like delicate installations, then others that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Habitat; the gallery loving part of me winced as everyone seemed to touch everything while the crafting side of me absolutely adored the inquisitive nature that was encouraged. From simple but beautiful crockery and tea-trays, to incredible statement pieces of jewellery and handmade furniture to sculpture and installations using craft techniques this exhibition has it all!
While I love and cheer and woop for the fact that practical but beautiful hand-crafted pieces are being displayed alongside work that much more clearly identifies as art in this gallery setting , it did make for a slightly confused journey. The exhibition content is pretty enormous – it covers 3 floors, numerous rooms, and each room has a very different feel to it – both in terms of content and in terms of the style of interaction expected from you: picture unique statement necklaces hanging gallery style, but with assistants happily taking them down for people to try on and photograph, or beautifully delicate ceramics, with boxes ready to pack them up to ship them to buyers as and when. However overall it was a deeply interesting and inspiring exhibition and fantastic to see ‘crafts’ elevated within a gallery setting.
Here are some of my highlights:
Did you visit Collect 2015 or anything else in London Craft Week?