the shape of things / at flow

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the shape of things / at f low

Every artist works in a continuum. This continuum consists of what the artist has learned and also made of that learning. But there is something else just out of reach that every artist strives for, and this ‘something else’ is part of the artist’s statement and in a larger sense, is the art itself.

Just as the Impressionists sought to move away from the clear-eyed, sure representational painting that had been a mark of their age, just as the Omega Movement sought a kind of clarity and honesty in its woods and cloth and paint, so these artists bring something new to our times. The work here is familiar in that the ‘language’ employed is accessible to us all. We recognize it. It is all around us in the images we see, and in the fabric we use. In that sense this is art that is right now, translatable. But it is more. It is ‘world’.

For the artist whose cultural roots lie mainly outside of the West, it is possible to add to this continuum a sort of


particular tension that can yield a vision of the road ahead. Each piece of work inside attempts to show this tension, whether consciously or not. Some do this overtly, some subtly, but it is there.

It can be arguably said that the UK is one of the 21st century’s premier ‘world’ nations. What is the difference between a ‘nation’ as most of us understand and deal with that world and ‘world’ nation?

In the usual sense of the word, a nation is an accumulation of a people whose ethnicity is roughly the same, who have the same ‘back story’, and often, the same goals. These kind of nations came into being in Europe largely as a result of wars, economic growth, trade, and the maturation of political systems for mutual benefit. They are by definition conservative, settled, inward looking. The ‘world nation’ is able and willing to embrace a multi-ethnic reality. The ‘world nation’ does not do this in a reactive, we-have-no-choice way, but robustly and in the spirit of the future. And if it is true that artists are often the bellwethers of the shape of things to come, then these artists are bringing us missives to which attention must be paid. Yet, the most exciting thing about this work is that each and every artist breaks through the tired old ‘multi-

culti’ paradigm to their ‘diversity’ in innovative ways. In this work, diversity becomes a portal through which the new world can be glimpsed. No true artist has an obligation, as far as the work is concerned, beyond her or his art. The art must exist for itself to be true, but here we can see that art can also resonate, captivate, be playful and beautiful and useful as it speaks in very individual ways to and from that which the artist wishes to express. In this work, the shape of things to come becomes more than what it expresses. The shape of things to come becomes beauty, that high human value which brings us home again to ourselves, and gives us the possibility of transcendence and peace. Bonnie Greer



exploratory works and in the process to consider the role of personal cultural identity within their practice. The artists presented the outcomes and their responses to these commissions at a symposium organised by the Museum in Bristol in 2006 where discussion took place with invited delegates chaired by ceramicist Magdalene Odundo.


he origins of the shape of things are in a report made in 2004 to Arts Council England South West into the potential for creating a contemporary crafts exhibition as part of Decibel, Arts Council England’s national initiative to promote diversity in the arts. The report recognised a relative under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic craft practitioners and audiences for contemporary crafts and recommended that exhibition should be used strategically to explore diversity within contemporary craft practice.


As a consequence, with the financial support and partnership of the Arts Council and in partnership with Bristol’s Museums, Galleries & Archives, the ceramicist Takeshi Yasuda, jeweller Vannetta Seecharran and weaver Rezia Wahid were invited to make new

The success of this with further encouragement and generous financial support from Arts Council England enabled us to move forward. The shape of things is now working nationally, investing in the production of new work by artists working with craft media and in the promotion and presentation of the results in exhibitions with each of its partner venues. The shape of things is privileged to be working with an exceptional group of artists and venues. The ambition and scale achieved in their work by each artist is realised through their relationship with the curators of the public museums and galleries taking part in the shape of things programme. Our thanks go to Rezia Wahid, Professor Simon Olding, Director of the Crafts Study Centre, Alinah Azadeh, Rosa Nguyen, Julia Carver, Assistant Curator of Fine Art at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Halima Cassell,

Seiko Kinoshita, Sophie Heath, Curator of Contemporary Craft and Natalie Cole, Exhibitions Officer at Bilston Craft Gallery, Tanvi Kant, Taslim Martin, Yvonne Hardman, Art Gallery Officer at Touchstones Rochdale and Maggie Scott, Chien-Wei Chang, Kathy Fawcett, Exhibitions Manager at The City Gallery Leicester. Yvonna Demczynska, Director of flow gallery provided the opportunity to bring together work by all nine artists for their group exhibition. The participation of a privately run gallery in a joint initiative with public museums is unusual and indicative of the strategic aim of the shape of things to connect the work of artists with curators, collectors and buyers of contemporary craft and to explore the connectivity between public exhibition and collecting. The shape of things has progressed through the guidance of its Steering Group and from organisations engaged with the crafts including the Contemporary Arts Society, National Society for Education in Art and Design, Craftspace, SHISHA, Crafts Study Centre, Crafts Council and Audiences Central. Thanks are due to the author Bonnie Greer who chaired the debate at the launch of the shape of things programme in

November 2009 and to Deirdre Figueiredo Director of Craftspace, the agency that manages the administration of the shape of things, for their perceptive comments in their contributions to this publication. The exhibitions in the shape of things programme provide the curators from our museum and gallery partners a rare opportunity to work closely with an artist, from the inception of the artist’s work through to its presentation to their audiences and communities. Through support of artists, exhibition partnerships with museums and galleries, discussions, workshops and events the shape of things aims to encourage a practice, audience and market for contemporary crafts representative of the society we live in today. Best described in the words of Bonnie Greer at the launch of the shape of things programme “This is some of the most intelligent and articulate explanations of diversity in art that I have ever heard … This initiative, this collection of people is important now … This is a movement, this is the beginning”. David Kay Director, the shape of things



he shape of things is a national initiative developing over several years. Through a series of exhibitions and professional events it seeks to explore the distinctive contribution artists working in craft media are making to influence or reflect national identity, the intercultural nature of British society and its connection with global cultures.


The shape of things initiative brings an opportunity for a fresh stimulus and the potential to challenge the status quo so if it disrupts and unsettles accepted views on issues of diversity and indeed of crafts then that may be a good thing. It is a conscious intercultural platform or space in which to debate, contest, configure and re-imagine the shifting territory of identity, nationality and the role of craft within culture and society. The shape of things has awarded nine bursaries to artists since 2007 resulting in the production of four exhibitions, firstly at the Crafts Study Centre with Rezia Wahid in 2007 then throughout 2010 at Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery with Alinah Azadeh and Rosa Nguyen, at Bilston Craft Gallery with Halima Cassell and Seiko Kinoshita and

at Touchstones Rochdale with Taslim Martin and Tanvi Kant. This publication coincides with the group show of work by all the artists at Flow Gallery in London. Finally the City Gallery will show the work of Chien-Wei Chang and Maggie Scott in its new space in Leicester in 2012. Artists within the shape of things have worked closely with the curators of their museum and gallery partners so the artist’s voice is very present in these exhibitions and sets a context in which we can tease out how identity and authorship is located within creative practice in the 21st century. Already some questions arise: How is identity and authorship located within creative practice in the 21st century, how are artists voices heard and how is voice affected if mediated through the curator as interpreter? How is our national cultural capital impacted and enriched by the generational flow of migration and in what ways is it made manifest? Certainly in popular culture it is plain to see that the influence has been profound and tangible. Are the characteristics particularly urban because post war migration was largely focused in our cities? The artists Thukral and Tagra based in India speak of the contexts in which they

work as having a ‘rootless cosmopolitanism’. To what extent does the universal self override geographical boundaries? How are artists today shaping the way we consider, produce and experience the contemporary crafts in Britain? What informs their aesthetic and production values? The hybridisation of language has some parallels, so we have hinglish, binglish, chinglish, desi. How is hybridity and fusion reflected in the language of making? I hope this programme might tease out some observations and give us some insights. Of all the things that form connections in our world, craft through its materials, processes, function and symbolism, domestic and social history is a familiar touchstone. Making goes to the heart and root of all cultures. In an otherwise fragmented sector, where many makers work as sole traders in relative isolation, this strategic project brings together a group of artists and curators whose collaboration results in unique knowledge production to be shared and applied. The reading of that work by audiences and therefore the role of exhibition in provoking thought is at the core of achieving our ambitions for the shape of things. It is our aspiration that audiences will engage in a way that enhances their intercultural competency

and encourages a more sophisticated cognisance of diversity in Britain today. The significant bodies of work produced by these nine artists and shown by the museums and galleries that are part of the shape of things forms a part of our cultural capital and their role is to embody as well as to raise questions about our times and in a way to hold a mirror up to society. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, well the work produced for the shape of things is a manifestation of lived experience and of tacit knowledge particular to an individual or a community so how does the work of this collective of artists contribute to the process and idea of place making? Through what they create artists often do take a position which leads to change. These major initiatives can be risky but the most important thing is that they happen. Mahatma Gandhi also said, “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”. Deirdre Figueiredo mbe July 2010 (Edited from an introduction given at the launch of the shape of things, November 2009 and address made to guests at the opening of Earth/Atmosphere at Bilston Craft Gallery, April 2010.)



Above: The Gifts, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2010

Top right: The Gifts, No 13 (Stiletto - Mother’s) & No 75 (Wedding Shoe - Artist’s), 2010

alinah azadeh Alinah Azadeh uses a wide range of media in her arts practice, with a strong focus on textiles, poetry and social networking to involve mass public participation within intimate contexts. In 2004, she became enchanted by the idea of textile and weaving as a metaphor for text and language and this has become central to her practice as an artist. She also experienced motherhood and bereavement for the first time and this had a major impact on her personal and creative life. Her work focuses on themes of remembrance, longing, self-reflection and transformation and draws on the influence of her British-Iranian cultural heritage on many levels. She is interested in the poetic within everyday life and the use of ancient practices such as giftgiving, Moshaereh (communal poetry reciting) and bibliomancy to inspire both socially driven and emotionally intimate artworks. “I see the shape of things as a powerful way of exploring and articulating issues around representation, identity and cultural narrative which my own work actively depends on for its meaning. I have been looking at how I can use the metaphor of textile media to poetically connect and bind together personal and collective histories. Since identity and diversity are ultimately linked to collective memory and the transmission of cultural values through objects, my project is rooted in the concerns of the programme and I already feel very at home.

As someone whose work is driven by my own intercultural experience (British-Iranian), the ways in which my own and others’ personal legacies are defined and created via the object are becoming of primary interest. For this commission, I collected and transformed 999 objects considered to be ‘past their emotional sell-by date‘ from and often with the public into The Gifts, a large-scale mixed-media installation within Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The processes of wrapping, binding, writing and drawing were combined to transform these objects into a suspended work using the metaphors of the spiral, the wave and the flying carpet. Its production relied on substantial input from Bristol communities as well as national and international contributions, the framework and context provided by the shape of things and the vital space and resources only available through work with a significant cultural institution. Through the making of The Gifts, I have also found a new way of working on smaller scale textile sculptures that is enabling me to expand and enrich my visual language as an artist within different contexts’. website: Top right: Mother Tongue, 2009


halima cassell Halima Cassell was born in Pakistan and brought up in Manchester. She began her career as a professional artist in 2002 and benefited from the support of SHISHA the international agency for South Asian crafts and visual arts at this crucial stage. Halima’s approach to her carved ceramic work originally derived from a combination of North African and Islamic stylistic influences. Thus it carries the influence of architecture and surface design, explores the universal language of number, geometry and symmetry that makes a point of connection for audiences of all kinds through a common language of number, pattern and tactile surface. “I mainly work in ceramics but recently have worked in stone and wood too. The shape of things provided me the opportunity to explore the apparent opposites of similarity and difference. My installations at Bilston Craft Gallery combined two parts; Virtues of Unity an installation of carved vessels and Shards a series of pieces assembled on site made from the collected tailings that I call shards left over from the carving process.


Each vessel utilised clay bodies, sourced from diverse parts of the world that have their own distinctive character and identity. Symbolically these represent the differences in creed and culture of the many and varied races which populate our planet. Using the same material of clay and adopting a similar style of working for each individual piece emphasised the shared humanity of these different races.

The 18 individual ceramic vessels made for Bilston carry titles that suggest aspirational virtues. They link together as one major piece to embody and reinforce the idea of human unification as a single species and of one world. Each piece is hand carved in a curvilinear style incorporating a soft, rounded look. Holes pierce each piece allowing light to form a penetrative link through one carving to the next. Clay continues to arrive from different locations of the world and I see this installation as the first part of a total of 30 works to complete the series. I see the shards as fading memories like falling autumn leaves or spent Sakura blossoms. They are the remains of my own thoughts, excavated from the clay in order to render my design concepts concrete. By referring to these pieces as shards I consciously form a connection with the idea of archaeological discoveries...the broken and fragmented shards of previous cultures and existences, those bits and pieces of detritus that are so important to our understanding of the past. I want my work to speak for anyone who has ever felt displaced or uprooted whatever their origin. In a gentle way the work made for the shape of things attempts to point to a dissolution of notions of nationality and towards a coming together and a realization of our commonality and shared hopes and dreams for a better world.� website:


Virtues of Unity, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2010

Top: Mercy - part of Virtues of Unity, 2010 Below: Lotus - part of Shards, 2010

chien-wei chang Chien-Wei Chang works in silver and other metals. Before becoming an artist his professional background was in retail with internationally known companies selling fine metalwork and jewellery. Chien-Wei came to the UK in 2000 to learn about making in metal and following a Masters degree made rapid progress in his career as an artist. A large scale sculptural work that visually referenced his cultural background at One Year On exhibition at the New Designers event in London had huge impact creating recognition for his work. It led to an opportunity for a first solo exhibition and propelled him into a selling career as a professional artist. Chien-Wei is conscious of how his cultural heritage is perceived through his work reflecting the present interest and awareness in Britain of China in politics, economics and culture and will explore this context in the work he will produce from the bursary.


“I have been living and working in London for over 10 years as a foreign artist of Chinese descent. During this period, I have been subject to the UK’s immigration rules, which have restricted my opportunities for employment. In order to remain here and continue to pursue an artistic career in the UK, I have had no choice but to become a commercially successful maker.

After several years working in the collectables market of UK contemporary crafts, I began to establish myself as a metal artist working in the UK applied arts. It struck me that the stereotyped image of craft within the general public is still the decorative, craftily made object, beautiful but without soul. I want to change this perception and try to prove that craft can step out of its domestic environment to engage with a wider public audience and in doing so can also deliver important social messages. The shape of things bursary award will open a door for me to explore, push boundaries and break out of my comfort zone. It will be a personal journey of redefining myself as an individual in terms of who I was /am/want to be, re-examining myself as an artist who is seeking challenge /criticism in a new form, and the contribution of my insights into our multicultural community as an immigrant of Chinese descent as part of a celebration of the cultural diversity of British society.� website: Right above: Untitled, base metal (silver plated), 2009 Right below: Untitled, base metal (gold plated), silver, gold coin (1989, China), silver coin (1991, Taiwan), 2009


A Walk in the Rain, looking through to One Sunny Day, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2010

A Walk in the Rain (detail), 2010


Above: Lime bandhani, 2010

tanvi kant Tanvi Kant draws from the subconscious influence of her Indian Gujarati cultural heritage. The tradition of preparing textile prior to dyeing and the incorporation of precious stones with fabric within costume and ethnographic textiles is explored in her new jewellery. Her work references the sari and challenges styles of traditionally worn gold jewellery. Her choice of materials refers to recycling and sustainability but they also give reference to more personal and collective histories, subverting traditional notions of material value and beauty. “The shape of things bursary gave me the opportunity and time to progress further with my ideas. It allowed me to draw elements from my research trips to Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi. My aim is to play and create structures, pattern and textures, by exploring and referencing the textile crafts I have been extremely lucky in experiencing first hand on my research trips to India. The modern versions have also been a subconscious influence previous to these experiences from exposure to certain types of clothing and textile around the home, through my Gujarati-Indian family background.

There are four strands I have pulled through, Bandhani, Ikat, embroidery of other materials on fabric and Kantha where I wish to focus and to bring into my way of working for this group of new work. I am drawing together techniques in both textile and jewellery practices, an interesting amalgamation where the result can still afford the wearer/viewer their own responses based on their individual experiences and at the same time increase awareness of the beautiful craft processes referenced in my pieces. I suppose in a way I am celebrating these particular craft traditions within which I see jewel-like detail in its visual and textural qualities, either before or after the preparation of fabrics for dyeing, construction or embellishment. I enjoyed working closely again with a curator and venue to showcase a new body of work, for which I investigated the usage of materials, application of simple processes and traditional techniques, with unexpected combinations to further develop my work and in relation to textile and jewellery practices.� website: Above: Lime and pink bandhani (detail), 2010


seiko kinoshita Seiko Kinoshita came to the UK in 1999 to study MA Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University after working as a printed textile designer and CAD operator in Japan to follow her dream of becoming an artist. From her studio at Persistence Works in Sheffield, Seiko uses traditional Japanese weaving and dyeing techniques to create contemporary textile installations. Her aim is to create a harmonious relationship between her work and its surroundings, to bring a new dimension to the space. This approach and her belief in simple design, influenced by her land of origin, offer something accessible to the viewer.


“Through the shape of things I am very much interested in joining in critical debate with other art and craft professionals and curators. It will stimulate my practice and it is important for me to continue discussion and question of the importance of cultural diversities in our society to prove my benefit of living in the UK as a foreign artist as well as my contribution to British society. Also I would like to develop my work and career to produce sitespecific textile installations in more public spaces, including public art gallery and museum settings, to appeal to a wider audience.

Concepts for my work are derived from everyday life experiences and nature. Nature has always inspired me. Its form, colour, sound, taste, texture excite and sometimes frighten me. I feel there is nothing equal to its magnificent power and pure beauty. The challenge to design alongside the power of nature will continue. I intend to create my textile works to present a moment of peace for a viewer who lives in our hectic world and to push the boundaries of textiles being perceived primarily as craft.� website: Main image: One Sunny Day, part of the installation Earth | Atmosphere, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2010


A Walk in the Rain, looking through to One Sunny Day, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2010

A Walk in the Rain (detail), 2010

taslim martin Taslim Martin before turning to art and attending art school trained and worked as a carpenter. Craft skills remain essential to his work and practice that can produce both figurative sculpture and functional objects. He describes the evolution of his pieces as frequently working of one craft process into another during the process of making and completing the work. Taslim has a strong interest in making portrait sculpture while his work that explores function, such as Secret Dovetail made for the exhibition Mixed Belongings in 2005 seeks to apply logical solutions in design to resolve complex construction and aesthetic problems. Secret Dovetail refers to traditional headrests used in African and Asian cultures to preserve elaborate hairstyles while sleeping and was purchased by the British Museum for its collection.


“The shape of things presents an important and timely initiative with the potential to engage a wide audience and generate much debate. I am delighted to be involved in this project and the debate surrounding it.

The shape of things bursary enabled me to create a significant body of new work in response to works in the collection of the partner venue and further investigate the notion of cultural identity and the artist in my own work. Through materials and craft processes this subject was tackled in a dynamic and innovative way. I welcome the chance through collaborative partnerships with curators and conservators and other professionals to create innovative new works and have them exhibited to reach a potential new audience.� website: Above: Running, Touchstones Rochdale, 2010


Top: Raimi, work in progress, Touchstones Rochdale, 2010 Below: Portrait Head, Ashley, Touchstones Rochdale, 2010

Above: Helix Form, Touchstones Rochdale, 2010

rosa nguyen Rosa describes the fusion of her Vietnamese and French background and cultural experience as embodied throughout the personal visual and tactile language of form, colour and surface inherent to the objects she makes and the environments she creates. Both anthropomorphic form and reference to concept of ‘Chi’ energy are characteristic in her ceramic work. Her interests in ‘discreet and spiritual arts’ such as Japanese Ikebana and gardening have led her to new creative departures. These incorporate collaborations with artists, designers, florists, museums and manufacturers. While her work does not consciously reflect her cultural heritage, through it Rosa contributes to enriching the perception and experience of the impact of cultural diversity on contemporary British ceramic practice. “The shape of things has given me the opportunity to develop new work using organic and inorganic media and explore further the relationship between my current practice based in ceramic medium, installation and public participation.


My current works builds on concerns around permanence and impermanence and the mutable aspects inherent to materials, objects and the environments they occupy. I have been particularly fascinated by Oriental, Daoists and Animist traditions, which posits godliness in plants and trees and imbues the object world with spirit.

The exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery has enabled me to engage my work in new collaborative relationships within museum culture and language and to create installations combining glass and ceramic form with botanical matter. The diversity of collections including Oriental ceramics and glass, biological specimens and historical landscape drawings at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery provided a rich source of material to draw from and a challenging environment to present a new body of work which focussed on perceptions of the museological code of permanence, conservation and contemporary visual art rooted in craft practice.” website: Above: Altar, part of the installation Still Living, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2010


Top: Altar (detail), part of the installation Still Living, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, 2010

Below: Rosa Nguyen assembling Still Living, 2010


maggie scott Maggie Scott trained in fashion design and textiles at London’s prestigious St Martin’s School of Art and for over 25 years colour has been fundamental to her work. In her latest collection of wearable art, Maggie has been ‘painting with felt’ – exploring transparency and texture, stripes and simple geometric shapes, adding colour and texture by applying fine layers of wool fibres to printed silk chiffon. However, as a fine artist, Maggie’s work is informed by a passionate engagement with gender and race politics that feeds from her childhood experience of growing up in London’s Notting Hill Gate in the early 60s. The shape of things presents a unique opportunity to unite two strands of the artist’s creative life and thought – to bring a personal story that has wide political implications together with her experience as a craftswoman. “I am preoccupied with my own history as an English born, African-Caribbean woman and am using the shape of things bursary to expand this autobiographical work and explore further the larger multicultural, multiethnic implications of my, and therefore, other family histories. ...I intend my work to contribute to and reflect on the question of national Identity in the 21st century”. Maggie will be presenting a series of wall-mounted narratives for the shape of things. Each piece, hand felted, stitched and embellished, explores the space where craft and fine art overlap. website: Left: Wedding Day, from Negotiations, series 1, 2010


She took up a post at the new co-educational Fredrick Bremer School in September 2008 and is now concentrating on providing workshops, talks and undertaking community, museum and gallery work to promote weaving and the importance of craft based making.

rezia wahid mbe Rezia Wahid mbe was commissioned to produce a work for the shape of things in 2005 during its research and development phase. A shape of things bursary followed in 2007 and the original commission The Five Prayers was included with further new work in Rezia Wahid: Woven Air: an exhibition of woven textiles at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, Surrey in the same year.


Prior to this Wahid attended the Chelsea College of Art and Design from 1994 –95 and was awarded a first class degree from Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 1998. She went onto teach art, design and textiles at Warwick School for Boys from 2001– 08 encouraging boys to break the gender stereotypes connected with females and their long associated link with textiles and was awarded an MBE in 2005 for her services to the textiles industry.

Rezia Wahid designs her textiles to hang in space so that light travels through them to create an atmosphere of tranquillity. She sees her work as a celebration of life, beauty, peace, tranquillity and air. “My work, for me is a subtle and progressive process. It is about stepping outside the boundaries of art and craft, the traditional and the modern. I like to merge fine art concepts within the craft of weaving; what is worn and what is hung for display. My work explores light and air, the British countryside, the Jamdhani craft of Bangladesh, travels opening up my spiritual understanding. The freedom of cloth is very important to me. I see the loom as a piano on which I create the harmonies of warp and weft, the shades of white, the unfinished edges, the softness of natural fibres and coloured selvedges. I’d like people to look beyond the delicate cloths and to feel peace, tranquillity and be inspired to also wear, feel, touch as well as dance with them!” website: Right: Sun set in snow 2, 2007


A Walk in the Rain, looking through to One Sunny Day, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2010

A Walk in the Rain (detail), 2010

the shape of things / at flow ISBN 978-0-9564845-4-3 Published by the shape of things September 2010 to coincide with the exhibition the shape of things at flow gallery. The shape of things Craftspace, 208 The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham B9 4AA Artworks copyright the artists Catalogue text copyright Bonnie Greer and Deirdre Figueiredo Catalogue design by David Hyde of Photography by Stephen Brayne, David Emeney (Bristol’s City Museums, Galleries and Archives), Tas Kyprianou, Taslim Martin, Laurent Moulin, Chris Smart, David Westwood, Xavier Young. Photo of Bonnie Greer courtesy of London Borough of Camden.

The shape of things provides bursaries to artists to make new craftwork. Its programme explores the distinctive contribution artists make to influence or reflect national identity, the intercultural nature of British Society and its connections with global cultures through a series of exhibitions, installations and events from 2010 to 2012.


The shape of things is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and registered in England, No. 6534926. Craftspace is the managing agency, David Kay is the Director and there is a formal steering group comprised of stakeholders and specialists able to advise on development and implementation.

The shape of things programme receives funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, investment by our partner museums and galleries and the Athene Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher. The rights of the authors of this work have been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1998. Acknowledgements The shape of things thanks the following people and organisations for their contributions to its programme: the artists; the curators and the teams of our partner venues; Craftspace as the managing agency; the shape of things steering group; Bharat Patel for the shape of things design identity; Alex Barnard for the shape of things website; Studio Hyde for catalogue design; Bonnie Greer and Deirdre Figueiredo for their contributions to this publication; Mary Rahman of MRPR for the shape of things PR; Caroline Griffin for the shape of things audience development framework; Arts Council England for its generous support and funding from the beginning of the shape of things; NSEAD for advice on education and fundraising and The Athene Trust for its support; our venue partners for their financial commitment and in kind investment of the time of their staff.

The exhibition programme: Rezia Wahid mbe Crafts Study Centre, Farnham 25 September 2007 – 5 January 2008 Alinah Azadeh / Rosa Nguyen Bristol Museum and Art Gallery 6 February – 18 April 2010 Halima Cassell / Seiko Kinoshita Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton 1 May – 10 July 2010 Tanvi Kant / Taslim Martin Touchstones Rochdale 17 July – 3 October 2010 Work by all the artists Flow Gallery, London 9 September – 6 November 2010 Chien-Wei Chang / Maggie Scott The City Gallery, Leicester February – March 2012


the shape of things / at flow 9th September – 6th November 2010

f low 1–5 Needham Road, London W11 2RP T / 020 7243 0782 E /