Fog-bound and Fine with It | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

Fog-bound and Fine with It

At the risk of being charged a chromo-phobe (great book, risky political position on the eve of  BECon’s Chroma-Culture conference), I have to admit to a bias for a recurring aesthetic I observed at this weekend’s COLLECT fair in London.

Going monochrome in the middle of a kaleidoscopic fair may be the way to stand out.

Whether textile, ceramic or glass, the works that grabbed me did so by whispering – even while towering over me.

Piled Higher (and brilliantly) Deeper

….like Jeffrey Sarmiento’s Emotional Leak being shown by the National Glass Centre.  Of course, the work demands attention from across a packed hall, but it’s what it says once you’re up close and falling (not literally please god…) into the stacked layers of grey glass that snags you. Fifty shades of black. Of course my own crap photography couldn’t catch the details. See a hint here on the website of Jeff’s project collaborator Erin Dickson

….although even that shot doesn’t capture the transmitted light (yes there is some!). Seeing this work alone is worth the trip (and the stiff admission fee) to COLLECT 2013.

Another show-stopper for me was the group of wall panels by Belgian Sylvie Vandenhoucke at the Design Flanders space.  At the “….boundaries of the visible and the invisible, the real and the imagined….[Vandenhoucke's work] undermines the obviousness of seeing.”

Sylvie Vandenhoucke's grouping of "glass dust"

Even up close, a single angle is inadequate to capture the movement of light that happens to your perceptions before these surfaces.

Vandenhoucke, "Constellation" detail.

In the Korea Craft and Design space a wall work (frustratingly unlabeled) of what is clearly fiber, probably dyed, likewise floated at the interface of tangible and intangible.

By a process of elimination – in the absence of wall labels – I believe this is Yeonsoon Chang,

...the line between fiber and shadow is lovely.

The porcelain of Dutch artist Henk Wolvers at Terra Delft Gallery conveyed the same sense of weightlessness despite their obvious solidity. The balance between power and subtlety is always seductive.

Henk Wolvers “Tile with beakers” Sanbao porcelain

Finally, Colin Reid’s kiln-cast Through A Glass Darkly at Adrian Sassoon flowed seamlessly from dark weight to lightly disappearing.

Maybe it’s London – where the fog seems so articulate – or maybe the approach of Chroma-Culture has reinforced my own inclination to look at the places where color speaks more softly. I need to return to COLLECT.

Problem: the path back to the fair (Sloan Square) from our neighborhood (Covent Garden) is littered with some pretty distracting Local Color.

Both outside…

...the natural variety....

…and in….

...and the unnatural....

….London, we love all your colours.

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