Now I am going to be teaching applied art on a permanent basis it has made me really look at and think about applied art forms.
My most recent discovery is the work of Han Feng who featured on the Culture Show special on China. Han Feng is a designer that left China in the mid 80s but returned recently thanks to her changing perception of the country, a seemingly more open and creatively permissive society. She cites the high quality of craftsmanship and a greater ability to experiment (due to owning the manufacturing mechanisms alongside the design side of her creative enterprise).
Fantastic manipulation of materials through pleating, crimping, embroidery and recently introducing graphic screen-printing are key features of her fashion and costume designs. Her work for the opera Madame Butterfly really showed the creative potential of her processes and techniques .
On the topic of ‘applied art’ the Designed&Made gallery in Newcastle is having what sounds to be a interesting show Prospect (9 August – 27 September 2008) so will be taking a look at Theresa Easton‘s recent work as well as a whole bunch of artists/designers I haven’t come across yet.
“Prospect brings together a group of diverse designer-makers who have been awarded bursaries or who have established mentoring partnerships through the Designed&Made professional development programme.”