Friday, October 7, 2011

London + Powerful Making

Timber Wave Cromwell Rd installation by Amanda Levete Architects
Part of the London Design Festival.

There were two amazing exhibitions I saw whilst away where you were 
not allowed to take photos... and this was a great shame. One was in Paris 
and I'll come to that in a day or so. The other was in London at the V&A 
Museum entitled The Power of Making. It was breathtaking.

As you enter the V&A from the Cromwell Road entrance there's a large 
space to the left of the information desk where the bookshop used to be. 
Here, The Power of Making exhibition will be in situ until 2 January 2012 
– a free exhibition celebrating handmade and the presence of craft in 
modern life.

I'm sorry if this is text heavy but I just have to reproduce the exhibition's 

Making is the most powerful way that we solve problems, express ideas 
and shape our world. What and how we make defines who we are, and 
communicates who we want to be. 
For many people, making is crucial for survival. For others, it is a chosen 
vocation: a way of thinking, inventing and innovating. And for some it is 
simply a delight to be able to shape a material and say 'I made that'. The 
power of making is that it fulfills each of these human needs and desires.
Those whose craft and ingenuity reach the very highest levels can create 
amazing things. But making is something everyone can do. The knowledge 
of how to make – both everyday objects and highly-skilled creations – is 
one of humanity's most precious resources.

Guest curator, Daniel Charny

Isn't that just fabulous? The exhibition leaflet listed a glossary of the skills 
and techniques employed in the pieces, including: 3D animation, 3D printing, 
airbrushing, annealing, baking, beading, blacksmithing, blocking, brazing, 
carving, cobbling, cordwaining, crocheting, cross stitch, drawing, drilling, 
dyeing, embroidery, etching, felting, glassblowing... and so many more.

It was so very inspiring. We were all blown away by the depth of imagination 
and ingenuity... and just when we started, reluctantly, to leave the space, we 
saw this lovely fella from one of our favourite movies. The handmade Mr Fox :)

photo credit 

There's a vimeo too for the exhibition. My favourite quote is from the 
flutemaker, Steven Wessel, when he says "Craft, or working with yours hands, 
is fundamental to being human". That just about sums it all up really :)

Power of Making from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.


Evie said...

welcome back!
i have to thank you for this post today it has inspired me and given me hope at the end of a week where i have 'whats it all for' thoughts creeping in. this has certainly put them at bay. hearing that other people get it - the need and importance of making has lifted my spirits. this was just the reminder i needed. i only which i could have seen this exhibition in person too. i will forever be envious of your mr fox sighting!!! have a wonderful weekend x

flowerpress said...

Thanks Kylie, just loved this. Put into words my unconscious need to make stuff. I'm in good company :-)

Flaming Nora said...

Have only but heard great things about this exhibition planning to go some time in the next week or so.

Karen Lewis Textiles said...

I think this confirms to us all why we do what we do and to have it justified in such an auspicious way can only continue to raise the necessity for making. Thanks for giving us all that! I hope I get down to see the exhibition before January...xx

Cindy said...

I'm green with envy of your trip. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. Naturally. I'm hoping we'll get our girls over there one day...

Ingrid Mida said...

Dear Kylie,
I can totally relate to the curator's comments on making. With all the reading I have to do these days for my courses, I am yearning to just make something....
What a wonderful exhibition. I wish I could see it so thanks for sharing this.

Francesca said...

this is great kylie. it's on my list! love the flutemaker. x

fen and ned said...

I've just been catching up on all your travels, love all the photos in the previous post, looked like a lot of fun!
The V&A is looking good, Ned is going there on Monday.
I look forward to hearing about Paris.
Have a lovely weekend Kylie! :)
Sarah xx

alessandra said...

nice you are back kylie :) so wise words indeed!

annamaria potamiti said...

How inspiring is this!Great thoughts, thank you for this post.
How fabulous to be able to actually be there!I think I will go off and do some 'making'...:)

Jennie said...

I too feel envious but also inspired.
Great post Kylie - and looks like you guys had the best time!!XX

mieke willems said...

i would like to see that exhibition at the V&A. sounds very nice! hope you had a great time, but i can see you had!