Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution
Warmly welcomed into the exhibition space by Shane Waltener and Cheryl McChesney Jones’ colourful ‘Stepping and Stitching’ you might feel comfortable enough to take a seat and knit or knot a contributory piece to this collaboration between an artist and a dance choreographer. Indeed, working in collaboration seems to be the way forward for many of the exhibitors in the Dovecot’s collection of modern craft – though that is not to say the painstaking attention to detail in Sue Lawty’s solo ‘Stone Drawing’ is any less impressive.
At several junctures the viewer is invited to take part, or offered a seat from which a particular work might be best seen. While the delicacy of some creations demands a respectful distance, others might welcome a more hands-on participation. This proves somewhat frustrating. An old-style typewriter (which invites public participation) punctures the quiet of the exhibition almost rudely, while delicate blue and white china from Paul Scott and Ann Linnemann begs to be held and closely scrutinised but remains forbidden to eager hands.
Items on display range from the eminently practical to the peculiar, begging the question of how modern craft is defined. Is a digital tapestry any less moulded by the hands of the artist than the traditional cloth variety? Many of the works cross the boundaries of craft to embrace fashion, installation and sculpture, but a reflection on the place of art in the modern world might suggest that all distinctions are now blurring. If this is the case then Taking Time is surely at the forefront of an evolution of sorts.
Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, until Wed 10 Mar