A trio of artists whose practice is bound with a particular material.
CHRIS DAY, EMMA WITTER, GRANT GIBSON AND MATT SMITH
If you missed the live talk you can catch up on the conversation below.
In this panel discussion podcast host and writer, Grant Gibson, meets a trio of artists whose practice is bound up with a particular material. Featuring ceramist Matt Smith, glass blower Chris Day, and animal bone sculptor Emma Witter.
CHRISTOPHER DAY: Day is a bi-heritage (Jamaica/ UK) artist who uses his craft to navigate what it means to be black in the UK. And also, white. His new work, deeply personal in exploration, are often self-portraits that explore what it means to be of bi-heritage in the UK by playing on stereotypes and aspects of generalisations. Constantly aware of the complexity of race, his solo show, ‘Blown, Bound and Bold’ deals with the complexities of internalised racism as well as the difficulty of establishing an identity that isn’t just stratified but overlooked by linear definitions of race and heritage. Glass is the perfect medium for Day to create emotional weight in his works by developing physical tension within them and affords the artist unending surprises.
EMMA WITTER: Emma Witter is a London based artist, creating intricate sculptures in bone and other food industry by-products.
She uses their ephemeral beauty to provoke reflection on the fragility of life, materiality, food politics and the environment.
GRANT GIBSON: A UK-based design, craft and architecture writer and podcaster whose work has been published in places like The Observer, New Statesman, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, FRAME, Dwell, House & Garden and quite a few others.
During a long career in magazines, Grant has been editor of Blueprint, deputy editor of FX, and acting executive editor of the RIBA Journal. More recently he has been editor of Crafts and a contributing editor of the Dutch architecture title MARK. He was also the launch editor of the London Design Festival Guide and co-founded Real to Reel, the UK’s first film festival devoted to making.
In 2014 he curated, Space Craft: Architecture Meets Making, at the Platform Gallery on London’s King’s Road, which subsequently went on to tour nationwide and in 2019 he launched the award-winning podcast Material Matters with Grant Gibson.
Grant was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2011 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
MATT SMITH: Matt works with ceramics and textiles. Known for large scale museum interventions, he was Artist in Residence at the V&A in 2015/16. He is Professor of Craft at Konstfack, Stockholm.
Folk Art: A look at our cultural heritage, our communities and our identity, and how we choose to express this knowledge and pass it on as inspiration.
According to UNESCO: Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.
Culture and its heritage reflect and shape values, beliefs, and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because it keeps our integrity as a people. Folk Art is rooted in traditions that come from community and culture. Artists working in the Folk tradition today are telling stories, they are passing on inherited legacies, symbols, characters. The objects may be decorative when once they would have been utilitarian, but the passing on of knowledge remains the same.
Meet some of the artists involved in this years’ Platform showcase, Abe Odedina, Carol McNichol, Cecilia Charlton, Denise de Cordova and Frances Priest.