Luxury Shopping. The touring exhibition ‘Legacy: Two works on hope & memory’ previews at COLLECT 2014: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects. 9-12 May 2014 at Saatchi Gallery, London.
Legacy: Two works on hope and memory, presented for the first time at COLLECT 2014, is the latest Crafts Council Curate With Us project in partnership with Forty Hall & Estate in Enfield. The exhibition brings together two of the UK’s most significant makers for the first time – Julian Stair and Clare Twomey. Both work in ceramic and explore scale, materials and social context.
In marking the passing of one hundred years since the start of the First World War, this exhibition offers the opportunity to reflect on both the collective and personal impact of loss, legacy, testimony and commendation. Following its preview at COLLECT, the exhibition will be on show at Forty Hall & Estate, Enfield from 5 August – 2 November 2014.
The two works ‘Everyman’s Dream’ by Clare Twomey and ‘Reliquary for a Common Man’ by Julian Stair, whilst not directly concerned with the First World War, encompass themes and ideas associated with remembrance and the significance of the First World War. The combined presentation of these works uniquely addresses the dual theme of the individual and the collective, often seen in remembrance terms as the dichotomy of the one and the many.
‘Everyman’s Dream’, 2012 by Clare Twomey
For ‘Everyman’s Dream’, Clare Twomey set up an open call to men asking to write down their aspiration of personal legacy. Everyman’s Dream will be installed as a ‘field’ of 1,000 bowls, each holding a unique quote that presents a personal ambition of future legacy left by an individual – collectively they create a world within a world. Within these works Twomey has maintained her concerns with materials, craft practice, and historic and social context. Twomey works with clay to create large-scale installations, sculptures and site-specific works, in which in which the viewer often participates and takes an active part in the conceptual meaning. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Arts.
‘Reliquary for a Common Man’, 2012 by Julian Stair
Julian Stair’s latest work explores a universal theme, that of death as a human experience, whilst also drawing on the historically significant meanings of ‘the pot’ as vessel. The Crafts Council has acquired one intensely personal piece from his recent exhibition Quietus, a touring exhibition of human-sized urns, sarcophagi and vertical burial vessels exhibited at Somerset House, The National Museum of Wales, Winchester Cathedral, and mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. The central element of ‘Reliquary for a Common Man’ is a single hand-thrown bone china cinerary jar, created using the cremated remains of Leslie James Cox, Julian Stair’s friend and uncle-in-law. The display is accompanied by audio-visual components – ordinary family film footage shot on Super-8 film, a slideshow of family portraits, and an interview recorded between Leslie and the Socialist Party of Great Britain, of which he was a member, about his political views and experiences of the Second World War. The inclusion of audio-visual elements marks a progression in Julian’s work, which reveals the multi-faceted nature of pottery and its potential for wider social engagement. The work, through its intensely personal context, offers another aspect of the universal experience, promoting an evocation of a personal relationship, current or past – an ‘Uncle Les’ – and acting as a testimony to the worth and merit of all such people.
The purchase of ‘Reliquary for a Common Man, 2012’ is supported by a donation from Gerard and Sarah Griffin and with the assistance of the Art Fund.
Annabelle Campbell, Head of Exhibitions and Collections, Crafts Council: “COLLECT is an important event at which to launch Legacy: Two works on hope and memory – our new partnership exhibition with Forty Hall & Estate. Previewing Legacy at COLLECT means it is placed within the context of the best international and national contemporary craft. Legacy addresses a universal subject that holds a particular resonance in this, the centenary year of the start of the First World War. Engaging with themes of reflection, hope and aspiration, the exhibition presents works by two of the UK’s most important makers: Julian Stair and Clare Twomey. The inclusion of Stair’s Reliquary for a Common Man, recently acquired for the Crafts Council Collection, with the support of the Art Fund and Crafts Council Patrons, illustrates the importance of public collections acquiring ambitious and challenging work – a central tenet of our work with curators at COLLECT over the last 11 years.”
Hatice Abdullah, Programme & Learning Manager, Forty Hall & Estates: “Our partnership with the Crafts Council has brought new audiences to see great works of craft in an historic setting, and has delighted existing audiences at Forty Hall & Estate. Visitors appreciate seeing high quality works of craft by some of Britain’s best makers, here on their doorstep.”
COLLECT is the leading international art fair for contemporary objects held at Saatchi Gallery from 9-12 May 2014, presented by the Crafts Council. It has an impressive roster of 37 international galleries from across the world, representing the very best makers in contemporary craft today.