Over 30 makers have been especially selected by a panel of curators and craft sector specialists from both East and West Midlands, with works ranging from evocative woven textiles to precision cutting leather; from dramatic silverware to paper jewellery and colourful glass all reflecting the wealth of high quality work produced across the region.
The exhibition will also reflect on the myriad routes to craft careers that makers are taking in the 21st century and developments in craft such as the use of digital processes and technologies. There is growing interest in new technological processes which makers are combining with centuries-old techniques to create innovative work.
Taking inspiration from Made in Middle, the National Centre will host a professional practice symposium on the opening day exploring the influence of career paths and cultural heritage on contemporary craft practice. “The day is open to those who are interested in forming a career in contemporary craft and those who are already makers who want to explore and share both the influences on their own practice as well as the ways in which they wish to diversify” says Liz Cooper, Exhibition Curator
Selected exhibitors include Michelle Arieu from Nottingham who produces large delicate wall panels uniquely designed and handcrafted in porcelain; Jenny Creasey from Rutland exhibiting her translucent sculptural ceramic pieces that not only references but imitates paper, complete with doodles and shopping lists. Stunning yet intricate leather wall hangings created by Mandana Thompson from Loughborough will sit alongside hand-woven textiles created by Retford based Jan Garside and the beautiful and dramatic coloured forms of glass artist Stuart Ackroyd from Nottingham.
Part of Made in the Middle is a digital commission awarded to Anna Collette Hunt, a ceramicist based in Nottingham. Anna’s idea has been to work with software developers to develop an iPhone app which extends the story of her ongoing project “Stirring the Swarm”. Since childhood she has made repeat visits to Wollerton Hall in Nottingham and both her ceramics and the subsequent app are inspired ideas of imaginary and sometimes scary insects. The app will be accessed at the exhibition via a QR code and also listed on the iTunes store in early spring.
Made in the Middle will tour to eight galleries across the country for 18 months and will play an important role in improving the understanding of craft, raising the profile of regional makers and giving them the opportunity to sell their work to regional and national collectors. Visitors will be encouraged to admire and wonder at our home-grown talent and whether the budget is a few pounds or a few hundred pounds there will be chance to purchase affordable original work.
Made in the Middle is a partnership between Craftspace and mac Birmingham in collaboration with The National Centre for Craft & Design and Design Factory.
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About The National Centre for Craft and Design located in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
We are a unique and ambitious gallery that exhibits the most innovative, challenging and accomplished craft and design artists practicing within the craft and design arena today.
It has four exciting exhibition spaces; the largest main gallery space in
England, a roof top gallery, a vibrant window space, the ExChange space. A learning and events programme is built around the themes of each exhibition and offers a lively and public programme of talks, workshops, conferences, activities, seminars, screenings and demonstration days.
Our retail space provides a visually stunning and inspirational area for demonstrating and
promoting creative talent and the licensed café serves locally sourced produce.
The National Centre is ‘home’ to the very best designer/makers in craft practice today.
Open from 10am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day