Give Me A Spoon, Exhibition at Atta Gallery

This Fantastic exhibition at Atta has been extended until  Sat 15th Nov! 

The jewellery gallery in Bangkok is currently home to a collection of amazing wearable objects, all developed from the idea of a simple spoon.

The artists featured all have their own unique approach to this humble utensil, demonstrating various techniques and a utilising a variety of materials.

Albert Setyawan, ceramic wearable "spoons"

Albert Setyawan, ceramic wearable "spoons"

Ho Koo's side scoop spoon and precious  "grains"

Ho Koo's side scoop spoon and precious  "grains"

Poly Nikolopoulou  unusual, textured spoons

Poly Nikolopoulou unusual, textured spoons

Simon Cottrell's spoon  Silver +10% Zinc alloy, Monel, Recycled woven nylon cord.    You can see Cottrell's work at Schmuck Munich, where he has been selected to show next year!

Simon Cottrell's spoon Silver +10% Zinc alloy, Monel, Recycled woven nylon cord.

You can see Cottrell's work at Schmuck Munich, where he has been selected to show next year!

 

I am a lover of spoons, using them to mix and make my work which themselves become records of the colours and textures that I use.

One of my Hewn rings and a spoon from my studio.

One of my Hewn rings and a spoon from my studio.

The idea is to challenge artists to create something that they do not normally create and exercise their creativity by translating their practice into a new kind of work. Most importantly, it is for the artists to have fun!" - Vipoo Srivilasa, Curator (you can view the website here)

 

For this exhibition it was a chance to take an everyday object and explore it's shape, symbolic meanings or function with the individual artists creating their own interpretation of a spoon. The simple brief allows exploration of ideas and materials leading to a fabulous array of textures and shapes and making a familiar object into a wearable, thoughtful piece of art.

Yiumsiri Vantanapindu

Yiumsiri Vantanapindu

Whether a usable object or decorative, spoons have many meanings. Love spoons were a folk tradition, made by young men and given as a token of their affection to a woman they admired. The wooden carvings were a chance for them to show their skill, taking time and patience. The complicated shapes and symbols  communicated how deeply they admired their loved one. If a girl accepted a spoon form a suitor she might then wear it or tie it to her clothing to show that she was taken, in a similar way to an engagement ring. Even more of a reason for them being the perfect focus for a jewellery gallery!

For practical purposes wearable spoons make sense. In a nomadic lifestyle you would carry the objects that you used daily. They were useful, and therefore precious and important. 

Spoons in my studio

Spoons in my studio

Easily overlooked, the spoon is simple & reliable, perfectly formed for it's purpose and a daily necessity. I am happy to celebrate this essential tool (and I couldn't polish off my dessert without it!).

Hooray for the beautiful, useful spoon!

You can see plenty more pictures from the exhibition here on the Atta Facebook page.

 

 

 

Art in the Making. Ryan Gander at Manchester Art Gallery

Artworks that look like palettes and palettes that are spoons...Ryan Gander's exhibition at Manchester gallery has got me thinking about what art might be. 

The palette of French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix 

The palette of French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix 

 

Definition of a palette

 

"A palette /ˈpælɨt/, in the original sense of the word, is a rigid, flat surface on which a painter arranges and mixes paints. A palette is usually made of woodplasticceramic, or other hard, inert, nonporous material, and can vary greatly in size and shape. The most commonly known type of painter's palette is made of a thin wood board designed to be held in the artist's hand and rest on the artist's arm. Watercolor palettes are generally made of plastic or porcelain with rectangular or wheel format with built in wells and mixing areas for colors."

ryan gander palette wall manchester museum.jpg

Here's a snap I took at Thursday's buzzing preview of Ryan Gander's exhibition, "Make Every Show Like It's Your Last" at Manchester Art Gallery. My favourite part of the exhibition was this wall of colourful discs. Instead of showing the paintings behind them, these are the palettes he was using for each one. It is accompanied by a laminated diagram with fantastically detailed descriptions of the people in the phantom portraits that co-ordinate with each paint splashed platters.

"I paint myself every day but I don't show the portraits, I only show the palette. I'd have to kill you if you saw the portrait as you would know how bad a painter I am'. It is a discipline for him, as he admits he is "not a massive fan of painting", but this is conceptual work. Gander says it is "nice to have missing bits as it allows the viewer to imagine their own painting".

Gander in the studio with the Independent 2012

The collection of palettes is a wonderful sight, I enjoyed picking out my favourites from the colour combinations and abstract formations.  You can match up the palette to the description of the painting or enjoy them as they are, using your imagination to interpret them however you like. Some reminded me of petri dishes with colourful moulds and germs thriving happily. Others could be a blurred dinner plate, "On Today's menu a miscellaneous fillet and a smudge of peas".

Gander said about his approach, "You can choose to engage or not. By leaving blanks there is room for you. If I hand it to you on a silver platter you won't like it" Or maybe on a silver spoon?

I use these spoons to mix my pigments. Rather than washing off the material, by letting them harden I can then use them as colour samples, and also get the satisfaction of smashing of the solidified colour for future use.  These reminders of my past makes are my version of a palette.

This amazing formation was gifted to me by fellow Third Floor studio artist Olivia Pilling after I fell in love with these synthetic stalagmites in her workspace.

Pilling's palette started out as an old dinner plate. The shapes made by the accumulations of materials which have formed whilst she skilfully works on her paintings are quite extraordinary. In creating her expressions on canvas she has simultaneously brought a unique 3D sculpture into existence. Even though the creation of this work was secondary it could sit equal to her meticulous and thoughtful paintings as one wouldn't exist without the other, made through the colours she has chosen and mixed with her own eye and hand.

The palettes pictured below are from some of the world's most famous painters. As well as being important artefacts from their connection to the artists, they are beautiful, expressive objects in their own right.

A palette from Paul Gauguin

A palette from Paul Gauguin

Vincent Van Gogh's smudgy strokes

Vincent Van Gogh's smudgy strokes

My favourite of these is this palette of Georges Seurat, conjouring up an image of conspiring figures wrapped in colourful cloaks.

My favourite of these is this palette of Georges Seurat, conjouring up an image of conspiring figures wrapped in colourful cloaks.

                                           Hand shaping my pieces has left patterns of residue on the textured emery paper.

                                           Hand shaping my pieces has left patterns of residue on the textured emery paper.

I am really interested in the outcomes of working practices. Hands on methods of making often lead to other interesting outcomes, either forming a by-product or through observing sparking further ideas, feeding the creative process. When using wet & dry emery paper to shape my work it leaves beautiful patterns on the surface like the one above. In a strange way they are a sort of canvas, the strokes of colour made by the pieces marking the surface. It has been painted by jewellery.

These cushions using images captured in the making process are a collaboration with textile designer Natalie Stoker. They made their début in the Soho showroom, reminding me of aerial photographs of deserts and seas, or the surface of a distant planet. A limited edition will be available to pre-order for £45 each, if you would like more information email me at info@jademellor.com