Cavaliero Finn was delighted to take part in Collect, the Crafts Council's international fair for contemporary craft and design, which took place at Somerset House in London from 1st-5th March 2023.
The gallery had an exciting line up of work on show including, one off pieces by Annie Turner, Björk Haraldsdóttir, Caron Penney, Cecilia Moore, Craig Bamford, Dalia James, Edmond Byrne, Frances Priest, Ikuko Iwamoto, Juliette Bigley, Matthew Chambers, Mimi Joung, Nicholas Lees and Simon Gaiger.
Key Highlights of Cavaliero Finn's Collect 2023 Presentation
Annie Turner: Flotsam Bawdsey Foreshore, Bronze Sculpture, 42 x 51 x 50cm, 2022 (image: Michael Harvey)
Having long standing relationships with its artists which span many years, Cavaliero Finn sees their work develop and grow, taking great delight in sharing and supporting these developments as they evolve. At Collect 2023 the gallery presented a series of firsts from several of its artists including, Loewe Craft Prize Finalist Annie Turner, Matthew Chambers and Nicholas Lees.
"One of the more established artists to showcase their work at Collect 2023"
What To Look Out For At The Collect 2023 Craft Fair - Irenie Forshaw - Elite Traveller
Alongside Winter Net
, one of the most complex and sought-after examples of Annie Turner's work, Cavaliero Finn presents Flotsam Bawdsey Foreshore, a new work and a new direction for this Loewe Craft Prize Finalist. Not made from clay but created in bronze, this work still draws from the environment around her. Growing up around the river Deben the artist forged a strong connection with the river, the acres of silent mudflats and meandering creeks, and her work has always been about this environment and her relationship to it. Just as the Herring Nets inspire her large sculptures, the river Deben proves fertile ground for inspiration and through her work she seeks to encapsulate and instil the essence of the river as something nurturing and life-giving.
Flotsam Bawdsey Foreshore evolved from her collection of shrubs washed up on the foreshore after storms. This root in particular held a particular fascination to her as it had become extraordinarily dry and brittle over time and had taken on an abstract form and texture that fascinated her, casting beautiful shadows as the light changed throughout the day. Just as her clay sculptures takes on a transformative appearance in the kiln, she was keen to preserve the essence of this piece forever in time so turned to bronze to achieve a unique surface through patination, giving the appearance of being dredged up from the river bed, weathered by time. The bronze was cast by Creative Construct Suffolk using a hand-built Ludo mould which would burn out in the kiln over five days. It is not something Annie could explore through clay in its abstract form and, after a multitude of complex tests, she achieved the desired patination, using chemicals with heat very similar to glazes. Annie intends to explore the development of her ladder forms some of which would be too fragile in clay and the potential excites her. This one-off sculpture is significant in that it is the first piece in what she hopes will be a whole new series that sits side by side with her complex, mesmerizing clay sculptures.
Matthew Chambers: Increase Outside, stoneware with oxides, 35cm diameter, 2023
Natural tones and organic forms embody new sculptures by ceramicist Matthew Chambers. The artist has developed a completely new process involving layering, cutting and altering to achieve an incredible form that, though stable, is purposely angled so it appears to be on the verge of toppling. This creates a beautiful sense of movement and precariousness, provoking tension as solidity juxtaposes fragility.
This new work belies weight, balance and gravity to provoke opposite reactions and feelings in the viewer. Matthew achieves this wonderful sense of unease and grace, whilst maintaining his precision in throwing, aesthetic sense of colour and form to create sculptures that continue to beguile and astound.
Nicholas Lees: Flux Work 23.04, parian and fluxed parian, 13 x 14.5 x 10 cm, 2023
Transition and interaction are common threads throughout Nicholas Lees work. Transition between dimensions, between form and space - and, in his new Flux works for Cavaliero Finn for Collect 2023, transition between states of matter.
Liminality - the ambiguous threshold between one state and another also plays a central role in Nicholas' work. Flux is flow and change - and in ceramics a substance used to lower melting point. In this new work we see the interaction of solid and liquid, the reaction between two forms and states of matter, the result of interplay of the mind and hand of the maker with chemistry and heat. Each piece is a composed accident, using the kiln as a vital tool in making and heat as an agent of change.
Like Rene Magritte, Bruce Nauman, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer and Ed Ruscha before them, two of Cavaliero Finn's artists use the power of language in their work at Collect to convey social issues, political views or the subversion of advertising in popular culture.
Caron Penny: Truth, Trust, hand woven tapestry, wool and gilt gold thread, 47cm x 53.5cm (framed), 2022
Caron Penney's powerful handwoven tapestries confront us with the words Truth, Trust and Guilt, words that force us to reflect. Words that are ever more poignant in a world where trust could be said to be at an all-time low. A world where, as journalist Marina Hyde so eloquently puts it; "the only thing standing between us and the jaws of corporate tyranny...is the former queen of Countdown, Carol Vorderman speaking truth to power on Twitter and from the ITV's soft furnishings".
In Truth, Trust (shown above) Caron explores a contradictory viewpoint, presenting a clever word play contemplating thoughts of power and subversion on the one hand and honesty and hope on the other. Using direct language, she hopes to force the public to confront societal issues. Caron's woven pieces use the same limited range of materials traditionally used to make handwoven tapestry, worsted wool and gilt gold threads, with the addition of dyed cotton warp which edge the finely woven pieces. She has a deep understanding of hand woven tapestry techniques and her resulting tapestries continue to be embraced by the training she acquired as a professional weaver. The use of gilt gold yarns is no trivial decision, it is a reflection on power and wealth.
Mimi Joung: A World of Speculation, Shadows of Yes and No, porcelain slip, 55 X 62cm, 2023
In her new body of work Shadows of Yes and No, Mimi Joung repeats the same words Yes and No to create various wall and freestanding works in varying shades of grey. The work builds on her interest in Dansaekhwa, the Korean monochrome movement, which reconciles the influence of western modernism on Korean artistic culture.
The movement highlighted the post-war struggle within Korea over national identity, belonging and tradition. By using repetitive patterns and gestures, each artist attempted to create an aesthetic style that was universal and belonged to no one.
Her pieces, which she develops and names based on her feelings towards human relationships and emotions, use the repeated form of yes and no to generate sculptural works that ask us to think about the shortest and hardest but perhaps most powerful words in our language.
Mimi Joung: A World of Speculation (detail) Shadows of Yes and No, porcelain slip, 61 x 55cm, 2023
Charting a Course Through Decorative History
Frances Priest: Vase Form: Imbrication III, ceramic form, inscribed line, earthenware glaze and vitreous slip, 43 x 16 x 16cm, 2023 - Image Shannon Tofts
On show was the Imbrication Series of new works by Frances Priest which follow the evolution of a collection of decorative motifs drawn from the "Greek" pages of the book The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones. This is a book that provides endless inspiration for Frances in her work. These decorative motifs chart a course through Classical Greek architecture, high Victorian decorative art, and 21st-century generative digital animation, before landing on the hand-inscribed and richly glazed ceramic forms visitors will see at Collect.
The work is a celebration of the ongoing journey of this collection of motifs as they travel through history and the hands of multiple designers, makers, materials, and processes.
Imbrication began life as a collaborative digital project with artist Sam Healy, co-commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts and New Media Scotland's Alt-w Fund with investment from Creative Scotland.
Dalia James: Yellow, Red, Blue II, handwoven silk and bamboo, 163 x 30cm, 2023 - Image James Champion
Dalia James - New to Collect
The last eighteen months have been a bit of a whirlwind for weaver Dalia James. This rising star has had features in FT to How to Spend It, Crafts Magazine and House and Garden Magazine to name but a few. She's been awarded a place on retail brand Toast's New Makers Programme and has secured countless commissions for her weavings. Cavaliero Finn is pleased to be bringing her work to Collect for the first time.
Like Frances Priest, Dalia often references early twentieth century design, artistic movements and philosophies in her work, using simple geometric forms to explore how colours interact with each other. Interiors and buildings inform her work and, in the past, she's sought inspiration from buildings such as The Duomo in Venice with its pink, green and white marble façade and the Ruskin building which is finished in polished red/orange Venetian plaster. For this commission, Dalia hand dyed the yarn using natural materials such as turmeric, saffron and cochineal.
In Red, Blue Yellow I and II made especially for her debut at Collect, Dalia continues her exploration of pattern design and colour focusing on the primary colours. As a starting point, Dalia starts with research, looking to the world around her to create a research board, picking out the colours she wants to use and then refining them by playing with different shades of the initial colour palette. She uses watercolours to get a few ideas on paper then uses them to inform the dyeing of the warps. The warp colours need to be planned in advance so she lays them on the floor to decide where she wants the different colours and the final composition is created on the loom quite instinctively.
Cecilia Moore: Balancing a Cityscape, copper, bronze, brass, nickel-silver - raised, constructed and patinated, 23 x 22 x 22cm, 2022
Cecilia Moore makes playful sculptural forms often imbued with an anthropomorphic quality, working with a variety of metals (including found metal objects), her work is created using silversmithing techniques and patination.
The concept in the designs of Cecilia's work often comes from childhood memories. There is a joy and playfulness in this that continues into the making process which is reflected in the finished work.
Talking about Balancing a Cityscape featured above, a piece made for Collect, Cecilia said: "As a child I visited Brighton Pavilion, it was the most amazing place I had ever seen, its Indian architecture mixed in with my mothers stories and artefacts of her life in India were full of colour and shapes that stayed with me and brought me to the colours and forms of this piece."
Each piece in the sculpture is made with between 4 to 7 metal parts that have been dismantled, adapted and soldered together. Parts include a lightbulb socket, a saxophone mouthpiece cap, parts of a cup, various lids, old coins and old plumbing bits. This piece is one of three new works the artist has made for Collect.
Simon Gaiger: Trigger's Broom, steel, forged steel and blackthorn, 108 x 64 x 21cm, 2023
Simon Gaiger's wood and steel sculptures are very much influenced by the rich and varied layers of his life and his surroundings - his childhood, time spent working as a shipwright's assistant, the sea, engineering, history and mythology, his drawings and thoughts which are collected over many years in the piles of black and grey sketchbooks that fill his home and studio in Wales.
Cavaliero Finn is pleased to present two sculptures by Simon for Collect both of which are created using found objects. In Trigger's Broom, featured above, Simon explores The Ship of Theseus paradox - a classic philosophical thought experiment about the nature of identity which considers such questions as; is an object simply the sum of the specific parts that compose it? And if those parts are gradually replaced, is it still the same object? Being created from abandoned agricultural machinery and natural objects found near the artist's home in Wales, the link to this paradox and to Simon's multi-layered experience is evident. From Greek mythology, to an episode from the BBC TV series Only Fools and Horses from which Trigger's Broom takes its title. In this episode the character Trigger boasts how the broom he uses at work has lasted him 20 years.
Trigger: This ol' broom... has had 17 heads and 14 new handles in its time.
Sid: How the 'ell can it be the same bloody broom, then?
Trigger: Well, 'ere's a picture of it; what more proof do you need?
Only Fools and Horses - Heroes and Villians)
Trigger's Broom is a fine example of the what makes Simon's sculptures have such lasting resonance.
Talking about working with found objects in his sculptures Simon said: "They're the things around us that reflect our lives - as material for art they are beyond their original use or broken pieces that are free to use in another guise. Found objects harness the instinctive childlike response to anthropomorphize - to give a new life to a fragment and to enjoy sharing the recognition of that translation with other people or the pleasure of disguising it from them. Taken out of their original context found objects provide powerful abstract elements."
Sculpting As A Medium For Exploration
Juliette Bigley: Balance (orange cube), gilding metal and copper,38 x 13 x 13cm, 2023 - Image Nicola Tree
Sculptor Juliette Bigley has many accolades to her name winning the Collect Open Award in 2018, the Silver Award, 3D Design, Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council in 2016, Society of Designer Craftsman Distinction Award in 2014 and the Cass Award for Excellence in 2013 and 2011. Her work goes from strength to strength and we are delighted to be representing her at Collect this year. In 2017, her work Balancing Bowl was acquired by the V&A for their permanent collection and, just this week, the Goldsmiths Company announced its acquisition of ‘Conjunction: Two Circles, 2022’.
Juliette uses base and precious metals to explore how we experience our emotional and physical place in the world and how we negotiate the interface between the physical world that surrounds us and the intangible worlds of emotion, belief, thought, language and memory. Focussing particularly on lines and thresholds, Juliette's work is sculptural and often comprises groups of objects.
Journalist, Craft and Design Specialist and Curator, Corinne Julius in conversation with Juliette for the Goldsmith’s Fair 2020 introduced Juliette as having…."An amazing combination of head, heart and hand, intense intellectual rigour, a socking good narrative and immense skill and thoughtfulness …always challenging herself and thinking about what making is about."
Ikuko Iwamoto: Ghosts from the Sea I, Porcelain and Wooden Found Man Made Object, 49 x 34 x 8.5cm, 2022
In a new series of works titled, "Ghosts from the Sea", Ikuko Iwamoto explores environmental concerns. Growing up near the seaside in Japan, on a diet of mainly pescatarian food, these sculptures arose from Ikuko’s serious concerns about the damage caused by high sea bottom trawling which Japanese experts are calling for an end to, due to irreparable damage to vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems.
Ikuko comments,"These fish are the ghosts of the sea representing those whose homes have been destroyed by fishing practices such as bottom trawling, those who have been captured for nothing because they were not the type for the market and those which have been killed by plastic waste."
Ikuko's skill and imagination have come together in this poignant work that harks back to her roots in Japan where she trained under ceramic master Asuka Tsuboi, one of the pioneering women potters to emerge in Japan in the 1970s, before coming to London encouraged by Tsuboi to study at Camberwell and the RCA. This work is a culmination of everything we love about Ikuko’s work. She creates work with sensitivity, wit, patience, incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Björk Haraldsdóttir: Völuspá, black stoneware with white slip, 23 x 53 x 10cm, 2023
For Collect Björk Haraldsdóttir created a series of new works which investigate sculptural and architectural form exploring the conversation between movement and containment.
The strong geometric patterning and both natural and architectural forms that make Bjork’s work instantly recognisable are heavily influenced by her past. The artist studied architecture at The Glasgow School of Art (where she collected the Glasgow Silver Medal for Architecture) and worked in the industry for over 20 years for a number of renowned architects including Richard Rogers before exploring her passion for ceramic forms. She works with the clay as she trained, pieces are planned and drawn before they are made and made as they are conceived – glass and steel have long since been replaced by clay.
Edmond Byrne: Ensemble XVI, Hand blown glass with a kaolin patina, 42 x 15cm, 2022
Experimental glass sculptor Edmond Byrne, presents a collection of exquisite sculptures which sees the artist explore more sustainable ways of working. In this works Edmond works with off-cuts of glass fragments he has created previously and held on to over the years. He uses these pieces in a process of assembly, stacking and play, resulting in a series of sculptural pieces that explore tactility, colour psychology and sustainability.
Cavaliero Finn is pleased to be collaborating with Tom Faulkner furniture
and furniture maker and designer Craig Bamford
in their room at Somerset House, helping clients to imagine the artworks in their own homes.
Craig Bamford: Wanderer, London Plane, with oak legs, hand sculpted wood, 50 x 210 x 38 to 50cm, 2023 - Image Michael Harvey
Collect 2023 took place from 03 - 05 March (Previews 01 and 02 March) at Somerset House, London
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