Continuing our exploration of contemporary craft is Echo, the second exhibition of our Craft season in the Gallery. Echo is a student-led exhibition curated from pieces in the Crafts Council Collection, eight students were handpicked to take forward the creating of the show with help from our Exhibitions team and the Crafts Council.
Crafts student Frances Phillips said, “Seeing a completed art exhibition and being able to interact with a private collection behind the scenes, choosing works of art and how best to display them, are two very different things.
"As soon as I heard that we’d be able to work with the private collection of a prestigious organisation like the Crafts Council, I knew that I wanted to participate.”
The other crafts students involved in curating the exhibition were Joanne Tyler, Sarah-Jane Rossi, Sybella Buttress, Helen Creedy, Fern Robinson, Sophie Holland, and Kate Lyons-Miller.
The exhibitions team and Crafts Council put out an open call to our crafts students, students then put forward proposals as to how they would benefit from being involved.
Hannah Jones and Leah Harris, our exhibitions officers, selected students from this process and teaching sessions began on subjects around curation, the Gallery environment, brainstorming ideas and independent research of the collection.
The theme of the Echo exhibition, as decided by the students, is to showcase the infinite possibilities available to artists through repeating a singular form, action or process and intensively layering and building pattern, resulting in unexpected discoveries and opportunities.
“A group of third year students coming together to curate a public exhibition of Crafts Council Collection work is really quite remarkable, above and beyond what’s expected of them on their degree." — Leah Harris, Exhibitions Coordinator.
The collection of work in Echo was chosen to reveal the potential for artists to embrace both machine and handmade processes. It seeks to question where we place value within contemporary craft, asking audiences to consider how each item in the exhibition has been produced.
Nicola Farrington, Touring and Loans Manager for the Crafts Council, said: “We regularly loan out works from our collection for public exhibitions, but this is the first time that I’ve worked directly with a group of students to create an exhibition like this.
“It’s very exciting to empower the students in this way, helping them to display some works that have never been exhibited in the South West before, said Nicola. “Coming, as this does, not long after our Plymouth celebration of craft and performance, the Acts of Making festival, really helps to reinforce what a vibrant hub for culture Plymouth is in the region.”
Leah Harris, Exhibitions Coordinator, “A group of third year students coming together to curate a public exhibition of Crafts Council Collection work is really quite remarkable, above and beyond what’s expected of them on their degree.
“It has been an exciting journey, sharing with them just how much work goes into preparing an exhibition like this, from the initial concept and choosing a theme right down to decorating the gallery space and arranging the physical work. Echo as a show meets the highest professional standards and the end result speaks volumes about the hard work and dedication of the students involved.”
There will also be a pop-up shop from 4-6 November, selling work by our students relating to the theme and work in the show.
Echo runs in The Gallery from Monday 12 October to Saturday 7 November (Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm, closed Sunday).
Photos by Dom Moore and BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing student Luke Mullane.