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Rope necklace by Lucie Gledhill represented by Bishopland Educational Trust. Photography: Jake Curtis. Art Direction: Hana Al Sayed.
18th October 2017

COLLECT 2018: three reasons to be excited

This February, the always-inspiring craft fair Collect returns to the Saatchi Gallery for its 14th edition, bringing together 35 international galleries and 250 global artists and makers for a breathtaking showcase of contemporary craft objects, material innovation and new, experimental approaches to making.

For us, every edition of Collect has had something to get excited about, an endless array of objects to fall in love with, and a litany of maker names to add to the ‘ones to watch’ list; but each year also sees intriguing new features and additions introduced to the line-up.

Here are three things the Crafts Council has in store for the 2018 edition, on 22–25 February…

1. A big focus ceramics…

Clay is very much having a moment right now, with an increasing number of major ceramics exhibitions; a small explosion in publications relating to the discipline (see Katie Treggiden’s Urban Potters and Phaidon’s Vitamin C); and a wealth of exciting ideas emerging from the UK ceramic scene.

The Collect 2018 taps into the growing trend with a strong leaning to ceramic arts in its gallery selection and Collect Spotlights installations line-up, giving a platform to some of the most interesting artists working in the field today. Highlights include Italy’s ESH Gallery presenting pieces by the important Japanese ceramicist Sueharu Fukami; UK/China crossover Ting-Ying Gallery celebrating the contemporary blanc du Chine made in Dehua County, Fujian Province; a Piet Stockmans porcelain retrospective from Spazio Nobile; and a showcase of Maylis Grand Young Masters-shortlisted RCA ceramic artists from Cynthia Corbett.

Yellow and Grey Undulating Vases by Ashraf Hanna represented by Cavaliero Finn. Photo: Jake Curtis, art direction: Hana Al Sayed.

2. …and on glass

Alongside the boom in ceramics, the distinct but related discipline of glass art is also mid-renaissance, and Collect visitors can expect to see a varied range of makes at the forefront of the field – including Swedish ‘rebel glassblower’ Fredrik Nielsen (Widell Projects), emerging UK award-winner Monette Larsen (London Glassblowing), and a Collect debut from Scotland’s glass-art hub North Lands Creative.

Desire by Louis Thompson represented by London Glassblowing and Vessel Gallery. Photography: Jake Curtis. Art direction: Hana Al Sayed.

3. Jay Osgerby steps into the Collect Open hot-seat

After Faye Toogood’s stellar selection of makers and projects last year, expectations are running high for Collect Open 2018. Fortunately, there’s no one better qualified to step into the selector shoes than design luminary Jay Osgerby, who has brought together 12 of the most boundary-pushing new talents in UK craft for this year’s edition. They include jewellery artist Katrin Spranger, tapestry weaver Jilly Edwards, metalsmith and sculptor Juliette Bigley, and conceptual ceramic artists Mella Shaw and Allison Cooke.

Axed Vessel by Forest + Found. Part of Jay Osgerby's selection for Collect Open.
Watch this space for more Collect news over the coming months, and get your early-saver tickets here.
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