Out of the Ordinary
3 November 2007 – 17 February 2008
V&A Museum, London
Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft brought together the work of eight contemporary artists who place craft at the heart of their practice: Olu Amoda, Catherine Bertola, Annie Cattrell, Susan Collis, Naomi Filmer, Lu Shengzhong, Yoshihiro Suda and Anne Wilson. All the artists are preoccupied with the everyday as a subject. Mundane or familiar things, like a paint splatter on a dustsheet, a human breath or a weed pushing up through a crack, are presented in playful and unexpected ways. Together, these eight artists suggest new directions for the handmade in the 21st century.
Annie Cattrell’s work captures moments in time, fleeting things, clouds on a particular day, a breath inside a human lung. Her subjects stem from her interest in areas such as neuroscience, anatomy and meteorology, and she is drawn to the fusion between science and art.
Susan Collis’s work might at first glance appear to be out of place in the exhibition, and you have to look closely to discover it. Mundane things, seemingly left behind from a previous exhibition, are actually meticulously worked by hand.
Anne Wilson uses traditional textile techniques such as lace making, crochet and knitting in her practice. Using these essentially homely activities, often associated with women, she applies them in unexpected ways to create powerful, complex and delicate forms.
Yoshihiro Suda creates hyper-realistic flowers and weeds from wood. He sets himself the task of making each new work more lifelike than the last. Painstakingly carving and painting each piece, using traditional Japanese tools, he may take many days to complete a single petal or leaf.