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Hatchet and Helve

Nicola Tassie Denise De Cordova Debbie Lowndes Marcus Vergette Nic Webb, Graham Bignell Graham Bignell Gallery view Gallery view Gallery view

Nicola Tassie, Nic Webb, Graham Bignell, Richard Ardagh,
Debbie Lowndes, Marcus Vergette, Philip Sanderson,
Denise De Cordova, Lousie Martin

9 December - 22 December 2011

This conceptually conceived exhibition and sale of interior works brings together eight distinct and precise makers working in the fields of ceramics, upholstery, woodcarving, sculpture, letterpress printing, tapestry and embroided drawing.

Displayed on a 'wave' of upturned glasses, Nicola Tassie's large ceramic lamps conceptually refer to the 'idea' of the vessel and the function of the object. Nic Webb's wooden spoons are hand carved with traditional tools from wood found on walks, the grain and character influencing the design of each spoon. Using traditional type setting skills to depict old English nursery rhymes, Graham Bignell's and Richard Ardagh's letterpress prints raise issues about the relationship between old and current vernaculars in contemporary design. Similarly, Debbie Lowndes of the London Chair Collective (LCC) synthesises tradition and modernity through an elegant and specific approach to modern upholstery on Victorian iron back chairs. Marcus Vergette's large conceptual bells also refer to the 'idea' of the object, the traditional white marble and the quality of carving emphasising a subtle relationship between lightness and weight. Combining 'traditional' methods of tapestry making and contemporary design, a rapid gust of wind depicted in a landscape tapestry poises a dialectical relationship with the slow methodology of its making as explored by Philip Sanderson of West Dean Tapestry Studio, which allies conceptually with the 'stitching' in Denise De Cordova's embroided drawings of women that introduce costuming as a form of identity or uniform. Further tapestry by Lousie Martin is woven using a double warp, exploring a subtle use of layering in both image and material.

Hatchet and Helve, meaning whole and useful, is one of about 100 proverbs depicted in Pieter Bruegel's painting Netherlandish Proverbs and, as with the layering of independent but related contained meanings in Breugel's painting, Hatchet and Helve presents seven useful, independent but related ideas about the dichotomy between tradition and modernism in contemporary making.

Resident artist Nicola Tassie will be opening her studio for a second sale on 9 - 11 December 2011. All welcome.

Artist websites

Graham Bignell and Richard Ardagh:
Denise De Cordova:
Debbie Lowndes & London Chair Collective:
Nicola Tassie:
Marcus Vergette:
Nic Webb:
West Dean Tapestry Studio:
Louise Martin: