On Friday this week Collect – the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects run by the Craft Council – opens. Perhaps surprisingly in the current economic climate, many people are still looking to buy art and collect original art.
There are, of course, lots of different reasons for collecting art and contemporary crafts. Some buy artwork as an investment – with a view to making money over the long (or not so long) term. Expert knowledge is pretty important here if you are going to realise that investment. Others buy art to fill a space on the wall, or a nook on the mantelpiece. Here beauty is important – and, as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For still others, the desire to collect art becomes a life time passion – some might even say an obsession. Here it is the joy of following a particular maker, or discovering new and unique ways of working in a particular medium, such as pottery, ceramic or glassware, that comes to the fore.
Walking round Collect you see all these motives at play – and you spot the odd student,artist or craftsman gaining inspiration for their next work of art. It is a joy to behold – people revelling in beauty. Of course,you don’t have to go to Collect to experience that joy. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a surprising number of people wonder through the virtual galleries on Seek & Adore every day, getting their daily “fix” of beauty. Admiring new products, checking out new makers and exploring just what can be achieved with pottery, ceramic and glass. And, like the visitors to Collect, they are not disappointed.
Amanda Simmons stunning glass vessels will be gracing the galleries of Collect this year but can also be viewed online at Seek & Adore. The colours displayed in her Dark Skies, Bright City range are a feast for the eyes – but personally I am intrigued by the name of the range. I know Amanda was very struck by the stars at night when she moved from London up to Dumfries – no light pollution there!
Ceramic artwork always pulls a crowd and you could do far worse than browse the work of Kate Schuricht whose mastery of raku takes my breath away.
And then you have more quirky collectables such as Janice Parker. As Janice herself puts it “I am attracted to the kitsch and quirky – things that make me smile”. She works in porcelain and copper to create characters, scenes – even an entire world – all based around a story “The Thieves of time, The Magpies and The Time Machine.” Now it’s possible that Janice’s work won’t be at Collect this year but her collectable, quirky figures show that buying art is open to all. Everyone has the thing they fall in love with, their price point and – I hope – their “pride of place” for displaying art. Whilst Collect may be at the upper price end for most people, Seek & Adore believe that everyone should buy art and beauty should be in all our homes.