Design, Crafts – The 19th edition of Collect, the international contemporary craft & design fair, returns to Somerset House in London [March 3-5, Tickets – Map]. Organised by the British Crafts Council, Collect 2023 invites collectors, interior designers, art advisors, and enthusiasts to discover a line-up of close to 40 international galleries and representing over 400 artist makers who present pieces made in the last five years, which are often created especially for the fair.
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AT THE FAIR – Highlights include 20 textile markers, more than 80 ceramic artists, and other materials, including metalwork, fibre, wood, glass, and non-traditional materials such as resin and plastics, as well as repurposed materials.
“The increasingly diverse range of galleries and artistic voices featured at this year’s fair will make the show richer in content and discovery than ever before.” Says Isobel Dennis, Collect fair director.
Alongside international galleries, Collect Open, the fair’s platform for pioneering and thought-provoking craft installations by individual artists and collectives, returns with 14 exciting projects by artists hailing from the USA, Poland, and from all over the UK, including Northern Ireland.
FOUR KEY TRENDS – According to a Craft Council’s market report, there is a growing desire for authenticity, experiences, and ethical and sustainable consumption habits. Collect 2023 presents an array of sustainable artist-makers as the commitment of collectors to buy high-quality, sustainable pieces continues, as is the responsible purchasing habits that fund diversity and equality.
Indeed, a distinct sense of place serves as thematic inspiration for many gallerists. “This year’s fair is a thoughtful and timely consideration of our surroundings: the natural world, the seasons, interior spaces and the home, and even Somerset House.” Explain the fair’s organisers.
The line of artists presents an interest mix of cross-cultural and cross fertilisation work with strong representation from artists of the African diaspora, as well as a diaspora of artists working in their native crafts but living abroad and who are increasingly bringing traditional crafts into a contemporary setting.
With the rising popularity of K-culture in the UK, Collect 2023 sees the strong return of galleries from Asia with a notable presence from Korean galleries and artists.
Works by 28 jewelry-makers reflect the rising trend of art jewelry in contemporary craft with wearable glass, ceramics, textiles, and sculptural metal.
All photos by David Parry/PA Wire. Courtesy of Collect 2023.