Thursday, 2 June 2011

SMILE exhibition

On Monday, a rainy bank holiday, Chris and I ventured out to The Harley Gallery, where we saw the exhibition, SMILE, which had lots of quirky craft pieces on show  - quirky really appeals to Chris.  I loved the clever automata by Robert Race, constructed from driftwood and using stones as the balance weights.  Of course, like most people, I couldn't resist turning the handle and watching the figures move.

I was delighted to see some lovely textile pieces by makers I am aware of; Janet Bolton (above) and Linda Miller (below).  I like the handmade quality of Janet Bolton's work and the lovely machine embroidery pictures of Linda Miller's with the gorgeous shades of blue.

 Lucy Casson's mini upholsterers were busy at work on a rather dilapidated chair, and other creatures were making good use of 1950s furniture.  These pieces repaid close inspection and certainly did make us smile.

I also found a vision of myself in a few years, possibly having come into some money and living in a larger house in the country.  This was 'Flo' by Craig Mitchell, designed as a vase, but without the flowers in the exhibition, which I felt was unfortunate, because the flowers demonstrated why she had the slightly odd hugging posture.  There is something typically British about the stoicism on Flo's face, with her headscarf, her apron over her coat and her green wellies.  On second thoughts, I'm not sure I'll be embracing a headscarf any time soon!
The gallery is in the Welbeck estate, with Welbeck Abbey at its heart, and it once had twenty two acres of kitchen garden.  There is a large garden centre next to the gallery and a cafe and various craft studios too.  The house and estate once belonged to the Duke of Portland and there are some items of silver, ceramic and furniture on show in the little museum.  I really enjoyed reading some of the old recipes and looking at various accounts on show, including a bill for a stay by King William in 1695.  It was a really fascinating trip which we both enjoyed very much, and surprisingly, I managed not to buy any plants at the garden centre!

No comments:

Post a Comment