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Collect 2020: International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design

Collect is the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design. Now in its16th year, Collect has been an essential part in defining and growing the market for contemporary craft.

This year, Collect brings as always international galleries together from across the globe, each curating their own displays to sell work made in the last five years by the world’s leading contemporary artists and designers. With artists represented from over 25 nations from Sweden to Czech Republic to Scotland.

They could not have picked a better location than Somerset House for Collect 2020, the light colours dominated in all the rooms and that was given an added lightness from the light and bright rooms of Somerset House, with its tall ceilings and big windows. I was particularly drawn to a collective with three designers two jewellers and one embroiderer calling themselves LOT. They start with a scope and a theme and then they all go off and do their own thing and not meeting up until they are all done with their part and their own interpretation of the theme. They then put the pieces together into one piece of beautiful and very original piece of jewellery.

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Another one of the displays that very much caught my eye was another collaboration this time between Swedish Sofia Björkman and London based Liana Pattithis and their Vertical Wall Garden.  Liana and Sofia are both jewellery artists, their collaboration is comprising a collection of enamelled chain jewellery and 3D hand drawings. Both their techniques push boundaries and are far from traditional it has to be seen up close to be believed.

In another room I had a lovely chat with Paula Reason the artist behind Talking Spaces – A life in craft. She is an architect by trade so naturally she creates her pieces scaled 1:5, from that Paula has in this project embroidered on hand painted silk other artist’s work spaces – their studios, they are incredibly intricate and mesmerising pieces with so many details I feel like I’m to a level standing in these studios when looking at her creations!

Lorraine Robson and I also had a lovely conversation and she is yet another of the fabulous artists displayed at Collect 2020 her project has its roots in her mother’s diagnosis with a certain type of dementia and highlights how music is such a vital part for the emotional wellbeing for many sufferers including Lorraine’s mum, hence for this project her beautiful ceramics have taken the shapes of a maracas that they connect with. Lorraine’s pieces are also temptingly tactile.

The Crafts Council has in my opinion exceeded themselves in this year’s exhibition, it’s beautiful, it has something for everyone and it has got a light beautiful heart. Visit until Sunday 1 March at Somerset House but if you cannot make it read about the artists at www.craftscouncil.org.uk where you can also find more images.

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