I love how Karen Shapley has pulled this lovely exhibition together and if like me , you like a bit of Julie Arkell’s crookedness, Hen’s Teeth pretty vintageness (Viv Sliwka),mixed with some chunky and textured ceramics .. and the sort of work shown at Unit twelve then you will really like this.
Some how the photographs I’ve seen of Karen’s pieces on pamphlets just don’t seem to do these ceramic and textile beauties justice. It’s hard to get a sense of scale when photographing crafts, I find this when photographing my own work. I guess that I was expecting Karen’s work to roughly be the same sort of height as my doll figures or even smaller, but they are probably twice as tall about 50-60cm perhaps. Karen’s website goes into more detail (see the link) so you get a better sense of scale because she’s been able to view form some many angles. It’s hard to choose just one image sometimes that captures your work.
They look so gorgeous in the exhibition at The Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford, and because I thought they were small, I just didn’t realise that I had seen some of Karen’s work before – not until I arrived at the show.
The display at Shire Hall looks great because there are so many of them grouped together and they are displayed at eye-level height which means that you can really admire them.
Karen had two pieces on show at Unit Twelve last year which I think are in this show too, They were shown as part of the Open Exhibition which I also took part in, and I remember them now, but they were showcased lower down at knew height I think.
the work fits wonderfully with the current main exhibition in the Shire Hall gallery whih has travelled over from Bilston gallery and is entitled ” Once upon a time in the Midlands…” fabulous Midlands tales retold in craft.
Paul and I are getting a kiln eventually – we keep saying this!!!! But seeing Karen’s work has made me even more determined that we do it. We have had so many ideas bubbling on the back stove for about two/ three years now and it’s about time we collaborated and got some work going. Paul is a potter and I’m a textiles person and it would be great to see our ideas come to fruition. Watch this space!