COLLECT 2010 at the Saatchi Gallery

Yesterday I went down to the Saatchi Gallery in London’s Duke of York’s Square to check out this year’s crafts exhibition, COLLECT 2010. Run by the Crafts Council, and in its seventh year, the show comprises a mind-blowing array of pieces from galleries across the globe, of such artistic skill and vision that the word craft – to me at least – hardly seemed appropriate. From jewellery to glassware to wooden carvings and fantastic sculptures, the show celebrates all things handmade, and with all of it for sale you need bags of self restraint to leave empty handed.

As well as offering so many inspiring creations to look at that it’s hard to know where to begin, the COLLECT exhibitions perform a deeper function – they remind you of the sheer pleasure of looking at artefacts made by hand, with love, over time, purely for art’s sake. We should all be inspired by the renewed popularity of making stuff yourself, which I have unashamedly embraced if only on a comparatively tiny scale, and with sites like Folksy and Etsy growing by the day and fostering a whole new approach to the art of handmade wares, the act of taking the time to make things which could be churned out of a factory is becoming more and more valuable.

collect 2010

As Grant Gibson, editor of (surprisingly slick and un-grannyish) Crafts Magazine says, “be in no doubt that the ability to make things – and make things well – matters.” Let’s hope it always will.

COLLECT only confirms this, and if anyone is in London this weekend you would be mad to miss it. They are also running tons of free events for all visitors, check out the details here.

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