The Troubled Craftsman

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London Gallery West is delighted to host this curatorial research lab exploring how four emerging artists - all alumni of BA (Hons) Mixed Media Fine Art at the University of Westminster - are working with new notions of craft. How does this influence the different aspects of their practices: research, concept, site, production and materials? Does the nexus of craft, labour, and post-Fordism lead to a new materiality, or a post-materiality? With an all-female roster, are there connections to be made between gender and craft? The centrality of the body and notions of embodied space underpin Bandeira's performance and installation. She sees her 'autonomous choreography' as a moment in which the space is activated, while her sculptural work acknowledges the presence of the viewer in its references to architecture and geometry. Martin's installation combines leftover materials with projections of personal images to question how and where work takes place, the significance of place and context, and the physicality of artistic practice. Oaks's sculptural forms offer a site to explore the relationship of industrial materials to her practice, the 'reskilled' alongside the outsourced, and the potential for materials to adapt and change in different milieu. Turner uses material processes as a generative tool to produce images that imitate spaces beyond the flat surface, using repetition and alteration to alienate objects and images from its origin. Despite shifting approaches and notions of craft, these artists' diverse processes all emphasize an attention to the materiality of our own anatomy. The works return repeatedly to the body; as tool, as context, as viewer, as maker. Richard Sennet, whose book 'The Craftsman' inspired the title of the show, speaks of treating all practices as laboratories in which sentiments and ideas can be investigated. As research lab, the gallery offers a site to reconnect with common objects, materials and space; a place in which to relearn how to navigate our 21st century world as sentient beings. Guest Curated by Nina Trevedi.