For London Craft Week 2018, Design-Nation presents a diverse showcase of members’ works with the theme of ‘Head, Hand and Heart’. Located in the charming showroom of Helen Yardley Studio near London Bridge, the selected craftspeople inspire, delight and inform through their contemporary craft works, beautifully illustrating John Ruskin’s statement, “Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together”.
Working in partnership with leading rug designer Helen Yardley and Barbara Chandler, design champion, writer and photographer, Design-Nation has developed this exhibition to explore the makers’ moments of inspiration; the intricacies of their handmade work; and most importantly posing the question, what is it about the making process which makes their hearts happy?
Barbara Chandler says, “Getting to know the designer-makers of Design-Nation has been a pleasure and a privilege. It’s happened over the years through my work as a specialist writer, also sitting on the Design-Nation selection panel and helping to curate last year’s show for London Craft Week. Each member is unique. Even within the same “discipline” – ceramics, say, or textiles – work and working methods vary dramatically.
“But what if we tried to link them by exploring three universal and very human elements of the making process: the coming together of head, hand and heart? I had this idea and then I found the concept had been first expressed in a lecture by the famous Victorian art critic and social thinker John Ruskin (1819-1900). It must have been in my sub-conscious from reading about Ruskin’s life.
“As we chose the eleven members taking part this year we asked them more about the creative elements of their work – could they distinguish between head, hand and heart? For many, these qualities are fused, equally shaping their work at any one moment. Others have a more analytical approach. In all cases, the work is ambitious, beautiful and complex. We like to think Ruskin would be pleased.”
The four day exhibition is accompanied by a lively programme of talks and demonstrations, and will stay open late on Thursday 10 May.
With sincere thanks to Barbara Chandler, who can be followed on Instagram as @sunnygran.
Helen Yardley Studio
3-5 Hardwidge Street, London, SE1 3SY
9-12 May 2018, 11am-6pm each day, and until 8pm on Thursday 10 May
Free entry, but some events must be booked in advance - see Events page for further detail