14 December 2010

Twelve Vessels of Life, Love and Death

                                                      Top Image: January's Bowl by Michael Lloyd; photo by Nick Duxbury
                                                     Bottom Image: Sketches for January's Bowl by Michael Lloyd; photo by Nick Duxbury

Exhibition review by Tina Rose

When I was asked to write about the Twelve Vessels, a beautiful exhibition of hand raised and chased silver vessels by Michael Lloyd, I felt rather overwhelmed, as it is an experience which is difficult to express in words.   

Michael had wanted for a while to create a series of twelve vessels – one for each month – expressing his love of nature and reflecting the profound events that mark our lives of birth, love and death.  He approached eleven individuals, couples and families who were part of his life including friends, curators, fellow makers and patrons, and invited them to be part of his idea and to choose a time of year. 

Over the next 18 months he observed the seasons, drawing nature, and in conversation with each of the patrons gathered the strands of relationships, family and the circle of life, to create an individual vessel for each one.  Each has its own individual form and imagery, and also, in his words, is ‘honouring the preciousness of memory’.

In the exhibition a fabric hanging by each of the vessels reveals the patron and the memories that led to their choice of month – stories of births, deaths, love and survival - which are delicately and intelligently captured within the simple form of a vessel, a symbol of sharing, nourishment, and contemplation.

It is a very personal show, both for the artist and the people who shared their lives. Each person looking at these vessels will connect in a different way, as the stories will have a different resonance in their life.  It is particularly touching that there are actually thirteen vessels, as Michael surprised Mary and Olivier Michel with a second piece to mark the arrival of a new baby, Matilda.  The couple had chosen a quotation from Norman McCaig for their vessel for their son Louis, which they felt summed up the arrival of a new baby, and he split this over the two vessels ‘Something has been completed that everything is part of, something that will go on being completed forever’.

At the New Craft Future Voices International Conference in 2007 (transcript in PPFCP publication) Paul Greenhalgh, director and president of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design puts forward the concept of Craft and the New Humanism.  He suggests there are two constituencies to craft, one of which is poetry (the other political), and says ‘Many within the craft disciplines engage in poetic discourse: they are about the making of physical things that engage the intellect and the emotions.  We should simply recognise this and desist from further categorisation.  If it works as poetry, it works.’

There is a peacefulness, honesty and beauty to this exhibition which is born from experience, skill, imagination and character.  It has a spiritual poetry which could only have been created by Michael Lloyd.

The exhibition was hosted by IC: Innovative Craft and Dovecot, and supported by Creative Scotland and the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh. A full catalogue been published to accompany the exhibition and is available from IC: Innovative Craft cost £10 + £2 P+P by emailing or sending a cheque payable to IC:Innovative Craft or they are available in the Dovecot Shop.

Tina Rose, December 2010

01 December 2010

Research Assistant: Sustainability, Invention and Energy Demand Reduction

Brilliant New Opening at Goldsmiths University of London

The Role
Working with the Departments of Design and Sociology you will contribute to a project on the co-design of energy demand reduction technologies and communities of practice. Based within the Department of Design, you will be joining the: Sustainability, Invention and Energy Demand Reduction project. This is run collaboratively by the Interaction Research Studio and Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (Sociology) with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). As part of the team you will play an active role in designing and implementing research materials, proposals and presentations, as well as field research with groups of volunteers in the UK. Opportunities may also arise to become involved in other studio projects on an ad hoc basis.

You will have a BA or MA in Design (or a related discipline), or equivalent experience. You should have a design background, preferably in interaction or product design or a related discipline. You will enjoy practice-based research and be passionate about exploring new paths for technology.

The Departmen
Over recent years there has been an increasingly energetic dialogue between Design and Social Science disciplines. Much of this dialogue has been aimed at enabling mutual understanding, identifying shared intellectual interests, and exploring common frames of reference. The Interaction Research Studio and the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process have been at the forefront of these developments.

To apply online and for further information see: http://tiny.cc/9405q

Job Details
Part-time (0.8fte) Research Assistant (Design Focus)

Reference Number    SOC000014
Department    Design and Sociology
Type of Contract    Fixed-Term
Full Time/Part Time    Part Time
Interview Date    Tuesday 18 January 2011
Closing date for applications    3 January 2011

From: £29,953 to £30,773 pa incl LW (pro rata)

Fixed-Term until 31 December 2013
Start date: As soon as possible