Four new commissions by early-career applied artists Farah Bandookwala, Emmanuel Boos, Heike Brachlow and Keith Harrison brought about through the biennial Jerwood Makers Open. Each combines a high level of technical skill with imagination and intellectual adventure, constituting a fresh and exciting direction of each artist’s work.
Farah Bandookwala makes jewellery forms using high-tech processes such as rapid prototyping. Her work for this exhibition involves a collection of brightly-coloured, sculptural objects that light up, vibrate or move in response to human interaction.
Emmanuel Boos has made an installation of richly-coloured cobblestone forms and a series of flat wall pieces which chart his studies of glaze – his fascination with its texture, colours and tones and his interest in the domesticity of objects.
Heike Brachlow has created a series of different-sized glass sculptures based on balancing toys, where form and weight distribution allow objects to move freely on a single point of contact. The glass varies in thickness and the changing light throughout the day alters the tones of each piece.
Keith Harrison has built a ceramic reggae dub sound system with which he recreates a scene in Werner Herzog‘s film Fitzcarraldo where the central character voyages up the Pachitea River playing Caruso records from a gramophone perched on a steamer. Exchanging the gramophone for a wall of speakers, Harrison plays music from the film on ceramic records, echoing a formative experience watching the Jah Shaka sound system at St George’s Hall, Exeter, in 1994.
The five artists were selected from over 200 applications in response to an open call for self-directed projects from UK-based makers within 10 years of establishing their practice. Each artist received a bursary of £7,500 to support experimentation and the making of new work for this exhibition. The five artists were selected by an independent panel comprising Emmanuel Cooper, potter, writer, educator and critic; Siobhan Davies, choreographer and artistic director; and Jonathan Watkins, curator, writer and Director of Ikon Gallery.
Jerwood Makers Open was established in 2010 to promote the significance of making and materials within the visual arts arena, seeking to support exceptional skill and imagination. Since 2010, Jerwood Charitable Foundation has awarded commissioning funds totalling £180,000 directly to artists through this project. It has supported 24 major new commissions, offering a rare opportunity for artists to freely develop creative ideas central to their individual practices. It looks broadly at how contemporary artists are defining or challenging the boundaries of what has traditionally been described as applied arts. Alumni include James Rigler, Matthew Raw, Nao Matsunaga and Will Shannon.