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Air Craft

Air Craft / Saturday 9th March 2013 - Saturday 20th April 2013

Air Craft is a mixed media exhibition of work, which explores the secret world of birds. Eleven artists have been selected to show work that focuses upon representations of winged creatures, (with sensory handling pieces by selected artists). From driftwood to ceramics, this is a must for ornithologists, nature watchers and art lovers alike.

Exhibitors: Sabrina Cant, Becky Crow, Nicola Henley, Guy Holder, Kate Kelly, Perry Lancaster, Ian McKay, Mikael Nilsson, Robert Race, Emma Rodgers & Jeff Soan.

For further information please contact Bluecoat Display Centre by email at crafts@bluecoatdisplaycentre.com.

 

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I live and work in Brighton and have an occasional home on the Norfolk coast. From these coastal bases I can observe a wide variety of birdlife and behaviour in their habitat. I also look at birds from around the world. I study them through drawing. My particular interest at this point is their expressions, the attitudes that they strike and the seemingly infinite variations between different types of birds.

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Perry Lancaster started his carving career in 1988, working in Cambridgeshire with John Fox, who had become well known for his wood carvings which were simple, elegant and exquisitely made.

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Confrontation, energy, curiosity, essence of a moment and interaction are the main elements that initially draw me to a new subject and are indicative of the very nature of the animals I have depicted. It is not purely and interest in animals, but the challenges of capturing the inherent nature of the subject, particularly where the movement, flexibility and power of the animal is concerned.

 

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Jeff studied Art and Design at Goldsmith’s College in the late 60′s, taught for a few years, travelled for a while, married, started a family and a building business during the 70′s.  He gave up building in the mid 80′s when his knees, back and some clients started troubling him.

 

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Glass artist Sabrina Cant is inspired by nature, citing artists Turner and Rothko as central influences upon her practice. Sabrina creates elegant bird form in glass, exploring in particular the reflective properties of colour and light.

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Becky Crow designs jewellery intended to be both worn and displayed. She uses the great outdoors as a constant source of wonder and inspiration. Elements of a narrative are captured in silver and transformed into miniature scenes featuring birds.

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Nicola Henley’s textile pieces are made by a combination of dying, painting, and screen-printing. Nicola’s work studies birds in flight. By observing and drawing their motions, Nicola aims to capture a sense of scale and movement.

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Kate Kelly creates beautiful paper sculptures, in particular owls and other birds. She began experimenting with paper model making during her University degree. She now continues to work in paper, finding it a particularly malleable and unrestrictive medium, bending and folding it into various desired bird shapes.

 

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Ian McKay specialises in making toys & automata. He is interested in bird flight, seeing air as an element with many exciting possibilities. He relies heavily on drawing and sketching, working in an instinctive way before sourcing pieces of wood and playing with them to construct playful depictions of winged creatures.

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Swedish artist Mikael Nilsson focuses in particular upon depicting the menacing form of crows, resembling birds similar to those featured in the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film! The rough nature of the wood he sources lends itself to the ominous appearance of his birds.

All crows are unique and hand-carved with an axe and a knife, made from black-stained Lime wood. Born in Linkoping, Sweden in 1972 Mikael studied Handicraft and Culture at Linkopings University. “I try to give each figure a personality, express a feeling, motion, gesture. I make crows because I like them and would like to have a real one as a friend”

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Robert Race makes automata from driftwood, moving in simple but interesting ways, incorporating a wide range of natural, re-used and recycled materials. Traditional ‘moving toys’ have influenced him strongly, as have his travels across Europe, Indonesia, Mexico, India and Japan. Robert’s most recent series has given him a good excuse for looking for inspiration at the seaside!

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