How exactly is this Craft?
Craft is more a domestic chore that a fine art practice, is it not? Women toiling away over embroidery, sewing, knitting and what not, right? Wrong! True, these practical skills have traditionally been the domain of women, who were often denied access to the so-called “finer arts” of painting and sculpture. Textile and the decorative arts were also denigrated to the point where its practitioners were cast as mere hobbyists. This is not so much the case now. Today women, and men, are expressing themselves through these disciplines in ways that tip over the applecart of received wisdom. This exhibition explores the past and present of craft-based contemporary art with artists using their skills to comment on often political and contemporary themes. Among the artists showing their work will be Lady Kitt, Connor Shields (that’s his ‘Resilience’ (2018) pictured), Zara Worth, Kathryn Lund, Tisna Westerhof, Peta Wolzak, Laura Porter and West End Women.
Craft, 6 February-26 April, Thought Foundation, Clarity House, Durham Road, Birtley, DH3 2TB (preview 5 February, 6-8pm). thoughtfoundation.co.uk