Ambiguous Implements

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Ambiguous Implements | Monday 27th November to Friday 15th December 2017

The Vittoria Street Gallery is  delighted to be hosting Ambiguous Implements a touring exhibition presenting a collection of contemporary works that playfully reconsider the familiar objects of our day to day domestic life.  Re-thinking the tools we use for eating, grooming, cooking and cleaning, the exhibiting artists have employed and subverted traditional craft techniques, reframed existing tools in new sculptural assemblages, or given seemingly banal objects new functions and effects. Rob Anderson, Aimee Bollu, Nuala Clooney, Rachael Colley, Rosie Deegan, Kate Farley, Kate Haywood, Jasleen Kaur, Julie Mellor, Maria Militsi, Rebecca Ounstead, Matt Rowe, Jonathan Trayte and Abbie Williams each present new and existing works.

Ambiguous Implements is curated by Laura Mansfield in collaboration with Rachael Colley and Nuala Clooney.

Rethinking Domestic Design | Wednesday the 29th of November 1:30pm – 5pm

As part of the exhibition and in collaboration with Talking Practice we will be hosting a symposium with Ambiguous Implements

Complementing the educational focus of the School of Jewellery Ambiguous Implements presents a symposium exploring the theme of Rethinking Domestic Design. The symposium brings together recent graduates from the fields of jewellery, metal work and ceramics to discuss the development of their practice post-education. RobAnderson, Rosie Deegan, Kate Haywood and Abbie Williamswill present their current projects whilst design consultant Melody Vaughan will talk about strategies for developing and sustaining emerging practices. The symposium will culminate in a performative intervention by Nuala Clooney and Rachael Colley.

This free symposium will take place at The School of Jewellery and tickets are available via eventbrite BOOK HERE – booking essential


Participating Artists

Rob Anderson was the recipient of the coveted New Designer of the Year award in 2016. Following the award his Heavy Hands collection has been critically well received and has been exhibited at The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester; New Tastes, Kath Libbert’s Jewellery Gallery, Saltaire; and Leeds Craft and Design Centre. He has recently been expanding the collection with new works, as well as experimenting with new materials and aesthetics.

Aimee Bollu is a collector, an assembler of undervalued materials and a creator of hybrid objects. She responds to the overlooked and underappreciated, highlighting their inherent qualities and challenging our preconceptions. The commonplace items that are throwaway in our contemporary culture are re-appropriated into collections of sculptural objects that hold a unique aesthetic value. Aimee has recently exhibited new work for Beauty in Space at Made in the Middle, a touring exhibition across the East Midlands in partnership with Craftspace and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

Caroline Broadhead works across the fields of the fine and applied arts, creating jewellery, textiles, furniture and three dimensional objects. She regularly collaborates with choreographers producing installations for live performance. She was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Textiles in 1997 and was winner of the Textiles International Open in 2004. Her work is included in public collections throughout Europe.

David Clarke is often cited as one of Britain’s most highly innovative silversmiths, creating hand-made/ready-made mash-ups and producing a wealth of covetable objects, pivotal in the renaissance of contemporary British silversmithing and metalwork. He has exhibited extensively most recently showing his work in Miami, New York, Taipei and Stockholm. His pieces are included in public collections throughout Europe including the Crafts Council UK.

Nuala Clooney is a multidisciplinary artist working with found and edible materials to develop objects that reflect and mirror aspects of the body. Nuala has developed work for a variety of contexts including Barts Pathology Museum London and the Art and Science Festival Birmingham. She recently undertook a research residency in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

Rachael Colley is a Lecturer in jewellery design and related products at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery. She is a member of the Research Centre for Creative Making (S.T.U.F.F) and the Fashion and Textiles Research Group (FTRG) within ADM. She holds an MA in Goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and Jewellery from the Royal College Art. Her practice-led research seeks to defamiliarise everyday organic materials and re-present them to resemble historic social signifiers, precious gemstones and objects of value.

Rosie Deegan explores aspects of luxury, purpose, function and craftsmanship heritage, along with the traditional inter-relationships between gender, practicality and decorativeness in her work. Her graduate collection Impotent Tools was featured in the Crafts magazine’s Talent Spot. She is currently participating in the Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme for 2017.

Kate Farley studied Printed Textiles at Leeds College of Art and Design in the mid 1990s, before undertaking an MA in Book Art from Camberwell College of Art. Drawing and printmaking are key to Kate’s practice. She works across art and design contexts using narrative and bespoke branding through pattern. She had developed site-specific surface designs for clients including Barbican Centre, David Mellor Design, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Colchester Borough Council. Kate’s work is represented in a number of collections including Tate, British Library, Manchester Metropolitan University and Yale Centre for British Art USA.

Daniel Fogarty, born in Derbyshire, is a sculptor who works with jewellery and various print techniques. He is based between the cultures of Manchester and Rotterdam and is an associate artists of Liverpool Biennial. Recent projects include When I was born a poacher, ONONO, Rotterdam and SPRINGWATCH: A single work show on new-decorationalism, Liverpool Biennial 2016.

Kate Haywood is an interdisciplinary artist working with a range of materials such as ceramics and textiles to create exquisitely crafted objects. Notable awards include the Fenton Arts Trust Scholarship, the Future Lights International Ceramics Competition and a medal at the 56th Premio Faenza, International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art. Her recent exhibitions include Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Korea 2017 and Hoard, Project Space, York Art Gallery 2017. Kate is currently taking part in the Crafts Council Hothouse programme for 2017.

Jasleen Kaur is a Scottish Indian artist based in London. Brought up in a traditional Sikh household in Glasgow, her work is an ongoing exploration into the malleability of culture and the layering of social histories within materials and objects. Refashioned objects are often based on instinct and resourcefulness, reflecting a hybridity of national custom and reconsidering the realities of materiality, usage and everyday routine. Her recent commissions include the Victoria & Albert Museum, Goethe Institute, Baltic 39 Figure Three and Art on the Underground. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Royal College of Art and Crafts Council.

Julie Mellor researches metalwork techniques developing works that play with traditional forms of jewellery and domestic design. She was recently runner up in UCL The Institute of Making’s Cutlery Design Challenge with a series of hand forged and mono-cast tools devised to carefully reach the elusive corners of perserve and condiment jars.

Maria Militisi works with found objects playfully reforming them into uncertain ornaments and decorative adornments. She has exhibited extensively and has participated in group exhibitions at the Royal College of Art, The Crafts Council, Saatchi Gallery, Platina Gallery Stockholm and the Foundling Museum, London alongside solo presentations of her work at international design fairs.

Rebecca Ounstead is based in Nottingham, UK. Her recent solo shows have included The Thinking Business, Royal Standard, 2017, New Condition, Loser’s Gym, 2017 and Tassels ‘n’ That, Bloc Projects, 2014. Since graduating  from Nottingham Trent University with BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2012 she has completed a residency in the Netherlands at HotelMariaKapel and has exhibited as part of No Grey Areas, Haha Gallery, 2015; Take a Bite of Peach, Attic, Nottingham, 2014; Surfacing, Hand in Glove, Bristol, 2014; Seven, Primary, Nottingham 2013 and Exeter Phoenix Open, Exeter, 2013. Rebecca has also worked collaboratively with Candice Jacobs for Alien Radio at The Space, Nottingham Contemporary, curated by Simon Raven.

Matt Rowe often combines various disciplines — ceramics, model making and textiles to produce sculptural costumes, props and artifacts that play with notions of regional and local identity. He has developed new works for Make! Believe! Make! at Portsmouth City Museum, Aspex Gallery and the European Contemporary Art Fair, Lille. Matt is based in Folkestone Kent and is director of B&B Project Space.

Jonathan Trayte is a sculptor. His work explores our complex relationship with food. Using bare concrete or lurid painted bronze, Trayte’s installations echo familiar sites of consumption, from haphazard market-stalls to carefully orchestrated supermarket displays and elaborate dinner tables. Trayte has engaged with academic research, most recently collaborating with Professor Charles Spence at the experimental psychology laboratory at Oxford University, to gain an insight in how consumer decision-making is manipulated in commercial environments.  His recent exhibitions include PolyCulture at The Tetley Gallery Leeds and Milk, a pop up café/shop designed with Kit Neal for Christies London

Abbie Williams is a designer-maker and technician based at the School of Jewellery, within the faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University. Williams is a member of the Continued Collective, who collaboratively showcase their work both nationally and internationally. Her current collection of work explores the waste material accumulated on, or produced by, a used object or utensil i.e. the remnants of hair from a hairbrush. She subsequently recycles this ‘waste’, bringing it back into the creative process.

Laura Mansfield is a writer and curator. She works closely with artists over the development of publication and exhibition based projects. Her ongoing publication project FEAST uses food as a framework to explore cultural histories and contemporary art. In relation to FEAST Laura has developed the AHRC funded project eating-history and devised curated events at The Tetley Gallery Leeds, The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester and Contemporary Forward at Touchstones Rochdale. She has an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London and a PhD from Manchester School of Art.