Craft and design at Number 10

Craft and design at Number 10

>>JANICE BLACKBURN: Craft and design is enormously
important. If you look back in history at how wonderful our furniture, our silver, the
decorative arts are, we have a great tradition and our art colleges are producing outstanding
designers, outstanding contemporary craftspeople. But they are less known than our contemporary
artists and I have a mission, if you like, to change this. Some of the highlights must
include the two wonderful glass vessels behind me by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. They
are designers well known for designing the interior of the Stella McCartney shops and
also, most importantly and relevant, they designed the Olympic Torch. We have Annabel
Johnson, who has made wonderful pots depicting the history, and a very accurate history,
of Downing Street; Brendan Jamison, a young artist from Northern Ireland who has made
a replica of the front door of Number 10 sculpted entirely in sugar cubes. And then we have
Charlotte Hodes, who was the artist in residence for the first time at the Wallace Collection
and she is really an etcher but she’s done these beautiful paper cuts and pots.>>MISS ANNABEL DEE: I’m a ceramicist, based
in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. I graduated three years ago from Central Saint Martin’s. This
vessel is called If That Door Could Speak. Number 10 Downing Street is one of the most
iconic addresses and buildings in England and I wanted to create a narrative on that
fact and document it on a ceramic piece. I mean it’s got the iconic Number 10 door and
everything, the ever-present policeman. And then also it’s got other historical, political
people, such as Margaret Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron and, of course, the
cat. I always like to provide sort of a humorous sort of narrative and I think that comes across
quite well in my pots because they’re a bit tongue in cheek and a bit fun, really. This
one is called Number 10 and it’s based on the building rather than the people of Downing
Street as the other one. Again it’s got the door. It mixes photographs that I’ve taken
myself and pen and ink drawings. This one also has the map, the blueprint of Downing
Street from 1735, which was when Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister, changed
Downing Street to the way it is today. I think it’s very important that Downing Street has
decided to have a contemporary craft exhibition here. There’s just so many great pieces of
work here such as the Lowry, and I just think it’s great to have the opportunity for emerging
artists to be displayed amongst the greats of England.

1 thought on “Craft and design at Number 10

  1. This is great! Well done Annabel for making more beautiful crafts for us to see… Hope the general public get to see them eventually!

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