Jerwood Makers Open 2015 Announces Debut Artists Exhibition

The following artists who were selected for the 2015 Jerwood Makers Open. Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Jasleen Kaur, Ian McIntyre, Silo Studio, will now exhibit at Jerwood Space London, in July.

The five exciting new talents in contemporary applied arts will premiere works in a group exhibition to mark the fifth edition of Jerwood Makers Open. Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Jasleen Kaur, Ian McIntyre and Silo Studio each received awards of £7,500 at the end of 2014 to realise significant new projects, with the resulting works debuting at Jerwood Space in London before touring nationally.

Jerwood Makers Open promotes the significance of making and materials within the visual arts arena, seeking to support exceptional skill and imagination. It looks broadly at how contemporary artists are defining or challenging the boundaries of what has traditionally been described as applied arts. Over the past five years the initiative has awarded commissioning funds totalling £180,000 directly to artists. This has supported 24 major new commissions, offering a rare opportunity for artists to freely develop creative ideas central to their individual practices.

This year’s artists, selected from over 267 UK-wide applicants, all combine a high level of technical skill with imagination and intellectual adventure, and these new works promise to take each practice in a fresh and exciting direction.

For the past five years, London based artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has explored the relationship between digitisation and materiality. In his most ambitious project to date, Zachary will create a ceramic wall constructed using a number of hand-crafted mesh-like cubes. Together, these three-dimensional structures will form an imposing sculpture that bisects the gallery space.

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen’s mixed-media ceramic installations draw upon motifs from our domestic and natural environments, layered with the artists’ memories, daydreams and childhood nostalgia. For Jerwood Makers Open Rasmussen has created a large scale theatrical installation, an immersive and surreal ceramic forest. Utilising the idea of Trompe l’oeil, the technique of using realistic imagery to create an optical illusion, the artist has created life-size, scenic trees by scaling up images of hand-crafted ceramic branches. Visitors will be encouraged to venture through this woodland to discover a fairytale-esque space of ceramic flora and fauna and intriguing narrative scenarios.

Brought up in a traditional Indian household in Glasgow, Jasleen Kaur is fascinated by the malleability of culture. Drawing parallels between Indian devotional sculpture and traditional western portrait busts, she will create a trio of busts cast in hand marbled plastic which subvert both the material and subject from the revered to the everyday. Each depicted figure will represent a meeting point between opposing cultural ideas: Jasleen’s great-grandfather, the first family member to migrate from India to Glasgow; Edward Said, a Palestinian American who ‘lived between two worlds’; and the current Lord Napier, whose great-grandfather was a central figure in the story of British India.

A designer predominantly working in ceramics, Ian McIntyre often works at the intersection where craft meets industrial production. Fascinated by craftsmen who work on an industrial scale, Ian will take inspiration from production potter Isaac Button to create a ton of white ceramic tableware, stacked in towering columns. Composed of hundreds of plates, cups and bowls, ‘A Ton of Clay’ will be the first case study in McIntyre’s wider body of PhD research, which examines the role of the maker and their potential to act as a catalyst for industrial innovation.

Inspired by the principles of Newton’s bucket, multidisciplinary design studio Silo – formed by Royal College of Art graduates Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless – has developed a unique production technique for the inertial casting of bowls. For Jerwood Makers Open, Silo will experiment with new materials and machinery which they have developed themselves, to further manipulate the casting process.

The 2015 artists were selected by an independent panel comprising Grant Gibson, Editor of Crafts magazine; Isobel Dennis, Director of New Designers – the UK’s most important graduate design exhibition; and Michael Marriott, leading product designer and curator.

Over the past five years the initiative has provided a significant platform for its selected artists, with many of the 24 recipients going on take their achievements to the next level and gain further critical recognition. For three consecutive years Jerwood Makers Open artists have been selected for the leading V&A ceramics residency: Keith Harrison in 2012, James Rigler in 2013, and both Matthew Raw and Nao Matsunaga in 2014; whilst 2012 recipient Will Shannon went on to win the PAD Prize in the same year.

On the experience of participating in Jerwood Makers Open, Shelley James – a selected artist for the 2014 award, commented:

“I would like to congratulate the 2015 artists and wish them every success, encouraging them to make the most of the incredible support of the Jerwood team to take risks creatively and technically and see their practice in a new light. Being a part of the 2014 award has given me confidence and opened so many doors, laying the foundations for my current project with scientists and mathematicians supported by Arts Council England.” 

10 July to 30 August 2015, Jerwood Space, London


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