We thought we would give you a sneaky peek of the work of four new artists we’ve recently added to our portfolio – two working in textiles and two creating sculptures in metal. We will be showcasing their work for the first time as part of the Collect 2021 Edition of our collaborative exhibition, Crafting a Difference at SoShiro, curated by Brian Kennedy which launches on February 24th 2021.
We are thrilled to be representing Katharine Swailes and will be previewing her wonderful new Colourfield Tapestry, a six-piece installation which will be physically on show as part of Crafting a Difference at SoShiro for Collect 2021.
We spent a lot of time looking at Katharine’s first Colourfield tapestry installation, “Le Bric et de Broc’ when we were opposite her stand at the London Art Fair in 2020. It’s hard to think of heaving crowds of people wandering around art fairs right now, but, as good as busy art fairs are, it can be quite an exhausting affair for a gallerist and we can’t tell you how many times we snuck around the corner of our stand during that fair to grab a mediative moment or two trying to absorb the quiet presence of Katharine’s minimal hand-woven tapestries.
Looking at the tapestries reminded us of the beautifully meditative paintings of Agnes Martin. Like Martin’s paintings, Katharine’s work is restrained and reserved and, similarly, because of the subtleties in the work, it is almost impossible to reproduce in print. In 1975 Agnes Martin wrote:
‘Art work that is completely abstract – free from any expression of the environment is like music and can be responded to in the same way. Our response to line and tone and colour is the same as our response to sounds. And, like music, abstract art is thematic. It holds meaning for us that is beyond expression in words.’
This sums up the feelings we had on seeing Katharine’s woven work in the flesh and we’ve been wanting to show her work ever since.
Memory and reflection are an important part of Katharine’s abstract colour studies in handwoven tapestry. She works intuitively with colour, reflecting on childhood memories recreating the textures and colours of the rich Cumbrian landscape where she grew up. Here she spent happy times, exploring and walking with her parents, observing land traces, flora and fauna and these observations have informed her work.
Katharine now lives and works in the Sussex countryside which continues to inspire her meditative weaving. Katharine explores tapestry weaving without the constructs of formal pattern found in traditional tapestry. These works are about the internal landscape as much as the one inhabited with all the hues tones and texture. The resulting installation is a minimal, textured subtle mix of beautiful tones that echo the natural world around them.
Katharine has created textiles for over 30 years, specialising in conventional flat wall works and smaller three-dimensional sculptural pieces. She also weaves large scale commissions at Atelier Weftfaced and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
She has collaborated on tapestries with leading artists including Martin Creed and Biggs/Collings. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide including Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital. In 2016 Katharine received the Theo Moorman Award and she has been shortlisted for the Cordis Prize in 2016 and 2019.
In contrast to Katharine Swailes intuitive approach to pattern design, fellow textile artist Caron Penney’s hand-woven textiles are based on a love of pattern, repetition and structure.
At the core of Caron’s work are references to street architecture and structural comparisons between the warp and the weft. Surrounded by pattern, the urban landscape feeds Caron’s interest in humanity. Often these themes respond to the ebb and ﬂow of the daily migration across a city or town. Caron has a longstanding preoccupation with New York and has said ‘The grid system of the loom is directly analogous to the gridiron plan of New York’.
Caron is fascinated by systems patterns and repetition and restricts herself to a limited palette, hand dyeing yarns to match the concrete grey and tarmac familiar to that urban environment. She then punctuates these grids with luxurious gold gilt thread – gold being that enduring symbol of wealth and power underlying city life. The subject matter draws comparisons between society’s need to function and the individual’s need for identity and their subtle co-existence. This careful balance is represented in the meticulous repetition of blocks of weaving and shapes in her tapestries. The artist sometimes reproduces familiar visual signs arranging them in sequences and rhythms.
Caron studied Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University, graduating with a BA (Hons) and has been a professional weaver since 1993. After working as a professional weaver for 20 years working with artists such as Tracy Emin and Martin Creed, she opened Weftfaced Atelier in 2013. She was a selected artist for the Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition in 2014 and 2020 and has exhibited widely including exhibiting at the London Art Fair 2020.
For Crafting a Difference Collect Edition we will be showcasing a series of works by Caron including the tapestry Challenge (featured above).
Also making their debut with Cavaliero Finn as part of the Crafting a Difference Collect Edition is Simon Gaiger whose colourful steel and wooden sculptural works we’ve been following and admiring for a number of years now. We love his use of bright colours on his steel sculptures and the way he constructs the abstract forms with such balance and harmony. It’s almost as if the weight of the steel disappears. There is a real sense of joy and playfulness about them which we were instantly drawn to.
Simon Gaiger’s sculptures are simultaneously human and landscape, narrative and abstract. They are influenced by the layers of the eclectic life he has led; a childhood in Africa and the Pacific, time spent working as a shipwrights assistant, fuelled by his interests in the sea, engineering, history and mythology. All of this works its way into his drawings and thoughts collected over many years in the piles of black and grey sketchbooks that fill his home and studio which he shares with his family in semi-rural and rather remote, Camarthenshire, Wales.
There is a raw tension of opposing forces in Simon’s sculptures, elements strain and pull against each other or balance precipitously. Working with industrial materials, redundant and left to decay on the land, Simon transforms them in such a playful way that their industrial or agricultural origins become almost invisible. The use of bright colour unifies the form and accentuates the play of light.
Many of Simon’s sculptures can be re-configured to make different horizons, changing the interplay of spaces within and around them, inviting participation from the viewer.
Simon’s sculptures are constructed from wood and forged and welded steel, sometimes concrete. It is the energy of their forms and the universality of their themes that give them their lasting resonance.
Simon works closely on projects with architects, interior and garden designers in the UK and internationally including Studio Reed, Dan Pearson, Küchel Architects, Peter Mikic, Rui Ribeiro, Arne Maynard and Ilse Crawford.
Cavaliero Finn will be featuring a series of Simon’s colourful steel sculptures for this year’s Collect, two of which will be physically on show at Crafting a Difference at SoShiro, including Wilhelm Scream (the brightly painted orange sculpture shown above).
In May of 2019, we were invited by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland to Dublin to see Surface Matters, an exhibition of leading Irish contemporary design. It was here we first encountered and were subsequently blown away by the work of Cecilia Moore.
Cecilia’s work combines all the elements of her training in sculpture and metalwork to focus on “raising” an ancient, near-obsolete process of hammering a flat disc of metal to create hollow sculptural forms. It could perhaps be produced using mechanical means, but this slow, physically demanding technique becomes a ritual between the metal, hammer and maker and is the deliberate act of art-making that is central to this work.
The solitary nature of her work processes is counterbalanced by the playful groupings of objects she assembles. Arranged according to colour, form and character, they appear to interact and communicate with each other, meeting again in new formations every time they are displayed.
Inspired by Morandi she has reinterpreted the 2D still life bringing it to life as an interchangeable sculptural piece – developing her huge skills and talent in patination. Cecilia has even managed to achieve the textured appearance of a painting.
Pieces are formed from copper, bronze, copper-based alloys, silver and often incorporates found objects and used metal parts. Surfaces are textured by a variety of methods from etching, to engraving to hammering pieces on pitted welding tables. The forms and parts always seem to wander from their initial sketched design, before decisions can be pinned down and the parts fitted and soldered together, the colour patinas too evolve and change. This method of working intuitively is far slower, but as a result each piece is unique and a joy to make and own.
Cecilia is currently based in Dublin. Her work has been selected for numerous national and international exhibitions, and is in public and private collections, including the National Museum of Ireland, the State Collection of Ireland, and the National Irish Visual Arts Library. She has completed several public art commissions and been selected for Design and Crafts Council of Ireland’s “Critical Selection” from 2017-2020. In 2018 she won the Golden Fleece Award a major national prize for visual artists in Ireland; in 2016 she won the Royal Dublin Society Award for Silversmithing and Metalwork; and a Thomas Dammann Jnr. Memorial Trust Award for travel and research.
Cavaliero Finn will be featuring a series of colourful sculptures by Cecilia for Collect 2021, two of which will be physically showcased at Crafting a Difference Collect Edition at SoShiro including the seven-piece Parlour Life sculpture and three of which are now on show in the current edition of Crafting a Difference.
Cavaliero Finn will be featuring work by 16 of its artists as part of the Crafting a Difference Collect Edition at SoShiro which goes live on February 24th.
Curated by Brian Kennedy, Crafting a Difference at SoShiro – Collect Edition will present over 200 artworks by more than 70 artists from five leading galleries including Cavaliero Finn, jaggedart, MADEINBRITALY, Ting Ying and Vessel Gallery. The exhibition will run until April 2nd 2021. A new 3D tour of the exhibition will accompany the exhibition.
Cavaliero Finn will be presenting new work by:
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