Went this weekend for a bit of late night carousing at the Victoria and Albert. A gorgeous place which never ceases to amaze as a sheer monstrosity of all things lush and splendid.
Having spent the majority of the evening getting sidetracked by some delightfully frothy espresso martinis, my company and I failed to make last entry for the Postmodernism headliner. All was not lost though, as we did have just enough time to sneak a peak at The Power of Making, which was conveniently free and ten meters from the bar.
Guest-curated by designer Daniel Charny, this comprehensive presentation of assorted crafts asserts in its introductory wall scrawling that "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....The power of making is that it fulfills each of these human needs and desires. The knowledge of how to make is one of humanity’s most precious resources."
A bit on the grandiose side, but hey, we are standing in the world's largest house of "objects", i.e. the museum home to the biggest collection of decorative art and design. And it's not an entirely overblown sentiment, nor a showing unfit for such an introduction. I'd be the first to admit a tendency to deify craftsman and craftswomen. There is something indescribably cool about someone who can make things. It's got old-world glamour and more than a hint of rugged sex appeal. As with the marble sculptor versus the oil painter, it is the hands rather than the paintbrush which become the artistic instrument we fetishize. A "maker" is gifted with not only a creative vision but a brutish command over the physicality of that vision.
Anyways, thoughts to ponder. Some highlights to follow:
Sueshiro Sano. A third generation Japanese ship builder who turned his wood working skills towards making some absolutely stunning mahogany bicycles. Sweeeet!
Marloes Ten Bhömer. Dutch born London based designer of kooky shoes. Amazing. Check them out. This chick is totally taking over where United Nude leaves off.
Dalton M. Ghetti. Former carpenter who somehow manages to tread the line between kitschy and totally adorable with these miniature pencil sculptures.
Also present was a crochet grizzly bear, some amazing knitwear by Sandra Backlund, and a very sleek dressage saddle.
Oh, just go.