Slow Revolution exhibition


Visited the Taking Time: Craft and The Slow Revolution exhibition at Birmingham Art Gallery 2.1.10.  

Exhibit: Rebecca Earley, Transfer Printed shirt, Top 100 Project


The introduction to the exhibition in the catalogue reads as follows:

the exhibition ‘considers how contemporary craft making practices embrace similar values and philosophies to those supported by the Slow Movement. Both think through where things are made and by whom and engage in ideas of provenance – being immersed in a rich narrative of human experience. Asking us to slow down, perhaps not literally but certainly philosophically, and to reflect on other and perhaps more thoughtful ways of doing things.’ 

I think the reason why I am drawn to the Slow Design/Craft revolution is because I’m aware that we’re living in a time when there is increasing debate about our current lifestyles becoming unsustainable in economic and environmental terms. Perhaps through the work that I create I can contribute to a wave of new thought around making and design.  I’m not keen on labels or pigeon-holing myself but I can’t ignore the concerns I have about what kind of designer I want to be.  So I guess I’m searching for my own code of ethics that I can use to anchor my practice. One thing is clear for me, I’m not a luddite! I don’t want to project an anti-machine stance. I am not attempting to return to a medieval style of working.  

This is my attempt to map out how the Slow Movement philosophy might apply to what I’m doing and intend to do.

Is time important? Does slow mean better?  This is one of the questions raised on the exhibition blog. Is work created over time more successful, allowing the ideas to ferment and be perfected?  Yes I believe so. I am not literally a slow worker. I’m actually a fast worker and I like to produce a lot work, it’s the way I work through ideas.  

Provenance/traceability – this I think is important and interesting.  If I produce a roll of upholstery fabric, I would like it’s manufacturing history to be transparent. The source of the fibre etc.. it feels important to create a practice that feels local?  Perhaps even working with local fibre suppliers e.g. wool

Sustainability – using where possible sustainable fabrics and materials.

Handcrafted – perhaps there will be a handcrafted element to the work.  Perhaps there will be limited editions with an emphasis on creating heirlooms rather than throw-away furnishings.


One Response to “Slow Revolution exhibition”

  1. 1 Julia Moszkowicz

    These links are interesting to follow through. I am endlessly impressed by your busy-ness. Phew!

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