Eleven of the UK's best up-and-coming creative graduates have been selected to exhibit in the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair's Great Northern Graduates showcase this weekend. Taking place from today until Sunday at Upper Campfield Market in Manchester, it's the event's 12th year (no, we can't believe it either).
The group of talented graduates from eight universities around the UK were selected by curator Kaylee Jenkinson and assistant curator Alicia Eccleston from their degree shows and this year's New Designers event in London.
The collective will exhibit alongside over 160 of the UK's leading designer-makers at the award-winning not-for-profit event, which is supported by Arts Council England. As the most significant contemporary craft fair in the North, the graduates will be able to showcase their work at an event that attracts around 6,000 visitors across four days.
There are three 'homegrown' graduates from Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. First up is Lillie Tew, who challenges traditional ideas of slip casting and mould making by pairing liquid clay and fabric. She uses porcelain for its transparency and ability to capture intricate details, capturing the irregularities that emerge naturally each time the making process repeats.
Ryan Daniel Dilkes explores how society craves change and how the idea of something new is exciting to us. He designs furniture that could facilitate this need for change and includes circular thinking. Something that could turn our living and working spaces into constantly evolving environments without producing or buying anything new.
Lucy Kent's practice is predominantly concerned with the environment. Drawing is a vital element of her work, underpinning her making processes. She explores how time impacts the environment via repetitive making and the transient properties of materials. Her series 'Eroding Time' explores how humans interact with and affect the natural landscape.
Joining them are eight graduates from universities and colleges across the country. Ceri Elliston's sculptural ceramics go through a process of intention, accident and the alchemy of the kiln. Harriet Jenkins' work celebrates food and explores the relationship between ecology, communal dining, craft and wellbeing.
Elsewhere, Eleanor Whitworth produces wearable objects that are inspired by miniature natural curiosities. Her 'Together Living' collection celebrates intricate symbiotic relationships in nature, many of which are unobserved or misunderstood.
Poppy Norton makes design-led statement jewellery. She uses non-traditional materials, such as brass, lino, acrylic and wood, and takes inspiration from her love and knowledge of product design and architecture. It has a strong graphic identity.
Sam Petz looks at the outcome of a project exploring the aesthetic and functional versatility of found nitrous oxide canisters – chosen because of their abundance, materiality and form. Additionally, the steel canisters are non-recyclable due to the risks involved in crushing pressurised gas.
Jessica Maskery crafts abstract art pieces inspired by architecture, with shape and colour extracted from the buildings. She uses hand dying, screenprinting and painting to create textile pieces inspired by the shapes and colours of buildings and architecture from cities including Venice and Rhodes.
Corinna Reynolds explores the transformative processes of ceramics, capturing the frailty underlying our emotional states. 'Time Between Time' looks at the journey that follows a traumatic event, capturing a moment in time that fractures and reshapes us. Thrown vessels cocooned within hand-built saggars that protect them during firing. They become part of the piece, a metaphor for the support network crucial to coping with such an event.
Emily Hughes's collection of hand-built slab vessels and functional porcelain pieces are inspired by her early life growing up in a village between a quarry and the sea. She creates the textures, lines and contrasts in this landscape through her ceramic forms and mark making.
For further information on the show, visit www.greatnorthernevents.co.uk.
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