Walk down any urban street in the UK and the most dominant material that surrounds you will be metal. Railings, gates, security fencing, signboards, lampposts, roofing materials, bridges, rail tracks and drain covers. Functional and necessary, metal is a ubiquitous part of the material fabric of our public spaces, and movement through our cities and towns is – in one way or another – shaped by metal. But how often do we see contemporary metalwork that shows real imaginative quality in guiding us through the urban realm?
Resonance will highlight some outstanding examples of commissioned work in the UK, which demonstrate that well-thought-out design for even the most quotidian objects can significantly improve both the look and feel of the built environment. The exhibition will show that civic spaces can take on new shape, even a new life, when innovative and practical design solutions are informed by the makers’ knowledge and curiosity about the qualities and histories of their chosen materials, in this case metal.
Eight contemporary makers who specialise in metal will be featured. Their work is diverse: with backgrounds in jewellery, metalwork and sculpture, they are a cross-generational group, hailing from different parts of the UK. CAA maker members John Creed, Katy Hackney, and Wendy Ramshaw CBE will be joined by guests Linda Brothwell, Steven Follen, Tom Jarvis, Chris Knight, and Laura Potter. All of the exhibitors are linked by their imaginative design solutions and innovative approaches to metalwork, which they have applied to specific communities and historic places through a hands-on approach to both drawing and making.
The exhibition will include large scale work and photographs of the site-specific projects, which will be shown alongside working drawings and information on each commission. Projects featured will include entrance gates at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, bollards at Eton High Street, a metal and water feature at Sheaf Square in Sheffield, light solutions used at the Boundary Estate in Shoreditch, and gates in Canary Wharf. Examples of jewellery and domestic silverwork will also be displayed. Much of the work in the exhibition will be for sale.
The exhibition has been guest-curated by Amanda Game, an independent curator and writer in the field of contemporary applied art and design.