The Bodhi Bears are here!

I am interested in the concept of using handmade sculptural objects to spark memories of our traditional ‘Do-It-Yourself’ heritage – advocating its reappearance in our consumer society and emphasising its value in design. As such the dichotomy between handcrafts and mass produced goods is a key area of my practice.

As an Indie Designer, my practice resides in the spaces where art and design intersect. The idea for these characters evolved from my research of designing talisman-like objects. Alongside this, the work reflects my concern with the metaphysical concept of the seven Chakras examined in the writings of psychologist Carl Jung. I explore notions of warmth and whimsicality in this work, and ways to elicit emotion and nostalgia for childhood.

With a priority on the process, these works have undertaken deep experimentation; hand-dying, pattern construction, textile printing and extensive idea development that began with explorations featured in my previous post.

The Indie Craft Movement

Artists and crafters on a global scale are producing works of art combining traditional craft techniques with modern, off beat and unconventional styles, contexts and subject matters. The culture that has risen from this need for crafters to walk to the beat of their own drum is ‘Indie Craft’. Primarily developed by online community in 2006 in America, members now meet from all over the world to discuss and raise awareness on the creation of contemporary art with traditional craft disciplines.

As a crafter myself I have found it difficult to define the lines between art and craft, and I am motivated by various makers in the Indie Craft Movement to take the step into becoming a ‘craft artist’.  Having never really enjoyed the old fashioned results of the crafts taught to me when I was young, the subversive subject matter appeals to my non-conforming nature. I feel akin to the alternative culture that accepts and encourages individuals to make work that expresses their unique viewpoint on the world.

Many indie crafters/artists utilise textiles, vintage and recycled materials and objects to make their work – lessening the impact on the environment and also as a reaction to the mass production and mass consumer culture of modern society.  For many years I have been making and successfully selling up-cycled handmade crafts and apparel.  I find a sense of fulfillment when working with found materials and objects, knowing that I am bringing something back from the past, and giving it a purpose in art, which will hopefully be appreciated in a new way.  If not appreciated for arts sake, then at least evoke thoughts in others.

Researching the Indie Craft Movement has reignited my love for fibre art and crafts of my past.  I found myself in the battling thoughts of whether craft could be considered as art (a dilemma that is still healthily debated today) and whether I wanted to be associated as this type of creative practitioner. I am so enthused and inspired by the many talented contemporary artists, designers and crafters in this movement, that I find myself wanting to explore it further with my own hands. This gallery features Rowena Dring, Kirsten Hassenfeld, Rob Wynne, Joetta Maue, Shauna Richardson and Kako Ueda all Crafters, Artists and/or designers who I am personally inspired by or resonate with in some way whether its their media used or they approach to art.

References:

Heyenga, L. (2011). Paper Cutting Book: Contemporary Artists. San Francisco, CA, United States of America: Cronicle Books.

Hung, S & Magliaro, J. (eds.). (2007). By Hand: the Use of Craft in Contemporary Art .

Levine, F & Heimerl, C. (2008). Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Maue, J. (2011) Joetta Maue: mixedmediaindex. Image Retrieved from http:/www.joettamaue.com/2010/2010/page1.html

Waterhouse, J. (2010). Indie Craft. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Wynne, R. (2004). Rob Wynne: Recent Works. Image Retrieved from http://www.robwynne.net/drawprintphoto.htm