cambridge contemporary crafts

Still Life Exhibition 2nd May – 10th June

Cambridge Contemporary CraftsComment

This month's show at cambridge contemporary crafts is themed on Still Life and the work that is the subject matter of still life compositions. The ceramicists, jewellers and printmakers in this exhibition have an intense focus on the forms, contours and textures of commonplace objects and shapes that invites comparisons with Still life paintings and images.

Balancing on the border between decorative and functional ceramic ware, Akiko Hirai's Still Life collection celebrates the beauty of everyday domestic objects. Her deeply textured multifaceted bottles and vases are composed of a dark, coarse clay with a white glaze overlay.

Justine Allison's hand-built porcelain pieces similarly explore the boundaries between functionality and aestheticism. Utilitarian objects such as jugs and mugs often form a starting point for Allison's work, creating work with visual and tactile properties where the object's mere functionality is transcended. Her delicately shaped vessels, with their various sizes, striped patterns and asymmetrical contours, make for interesting compositions when grouped together. Allison often draws inspiration for her work from the busy city life of London.

Brittany Delany focuses on the translucent quality and fragile effects of porcelain in her vessels and tableware. Her Seasalt range, inspired by the feeling of salt on your skin, consists of minimal shapes which are frosted with salty blue and green glazes. The smooth outer surfaces of the vessels, reflective of soft skin, contrast with the tactile sea salt colours inside. In her Taxidermy collection, Brittany combines porcelain, leather and metal to create unique pieces in which the commonly concealed casting seams are exaggerated and the rivets, metal wires and leather handles holding the pieces together are put in the spotlight.

Inspired by abstract art, urban architecture and industrial constructions, Elin Horgan creates modern jewellery with bold geometric shapes that is minimal in design. Her shape combinations and interlocking forms produce a striking series of geometric necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

In contrast to the clean, crisp lines of Elin Horgan's jewellery, Maike Browning opts for more organic shapes. Maike finds her inspiration in natural forms, textiles and her travels. Many of her pieces feature elegant floral or botanic designs while others contain references to the intricate patterns of Indian textiles she came across while travelling.

Emma Tudor-Bloch creates prints, patterns and textiles with bold and simplistic designs. Like many other artists in this exhibition, she draws inspiration from the objects which fill her home, plants from around the world and the landscapes that she visits. She is currently focusing on screen printing, which proves to be an excellent medium for capturing the essence of plants, flowers, bottles, vases and buildings in a few simple lines and basic colours.