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Radical Craft exhibition review By Sarah Watson

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Maria Wicko Bird With Open Wings.

Maria Wicko Bird With Open Wings. Courtesy of Oana Damir

What are we talking about?
We were at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester and we went to see the Radical Craft exhibition, which I thought was “alternative art”. Artists used different materials and the artists came from different parts of the world including Denmark, Japan and Germany and of course the UK.

What did it look like?
The building was quite nice but a little intimidating but then I hadn’t been there before. From a Working Class point of view it’s quite posh. I didn’t know if I belonged there. When I went into the courtyard I discovered colourful knitted pieces on trees. I wanted to take them home!

I liked the show part. Jennifer Gilbert talked about some of the pieces, which was great although I would have liked to know a little bit about ALL of them! I really liked hearing about their stories rather than reading about it.

The pieces I liked the most
There were a few I liked, for example, the pencil carvings by Dalton Ghetti – they had shapes and each one took a long time to make. One false move would ruin the art!

I also loved the glass work. It was very gothic and the story was fascinating.

l liked Terence Wilde’s work for various reasons. This is what I liked about it:
• Dark side;
• Nightmare;
• Awareness of mental health needs;
• Each piece evokes different emotional feelings inside yourself;
• A touch of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas;
• Seven deadly sins, or l say seven deadly sins of mental health problems which comes with it.

And then there was the Danish Artist who invited people to his house to show them his artwork and liked to socialise. He dressed very artistically and he looked proud. He liked working with wood. He made his own clothing from woven wood and he used it inside his house.

Judith Scott: I thought the first piece was the best, the one that had a wedding ring hidden inside it. It was worth a lot of money.

Willem van Genk 'Arnhem' 2 a model tram train brightly decorated

Willem van Genk ‘Arnhem’ 2

How did it make me feel?
It made me feel curious and left me wanting more. I remember the small nut people – they reminded me of Gulliver’s Travels.

I like it when an artist can’t stop – such as in the assemblages when they are always adding things to it.

What I didn’t like
Some of the works were too similar – like the wrapping up.

Final thoughts overall:
It opened my eyes to what radical ideas are.
It opened my eyes to other people and how they make art when they cannot talk, for example.

Not everything appealed to me but it is always good to see a variety of artwork. It is good to see disability arts in a major gallery.

I wished they would put more Outside In artists in the gallery and include drawings or photography next time.

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