As part of ‘Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making’; Craftspace have added an action research element that will accompany and add to the touring exhibition programme which opens next March at Pallant House Gallery. The term ‘action research’ generally refers to research initiated to solve an immediate problem, or a reflective process of progressive problem solving carried out during the course of an activity. This post offers an overview of the action research arm of the project, which has seen ActionSpace artist Andrew Omoding create new work in weekly sessions observed by Trevor Marchand; Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, writer and furniture-maker.
Andrew’s work is intuitive and instinctive, and he uses his knowledge of form, shape and construction to add and discard elements as he works. He explores cupboards and shelves in the studio for buried treasures, which he uses to create large-scale sculptural forms. He builds up his creations by systematically layering, wrapping and attaching, often adding textiles, painted patterns and textures to complete the piece. His work is personal and sometimes autobiographical but always intriguing – and it has been widely exhibited. His Man Climbing a Ladder was part of the ‘Adopting Britain’ exhibition at the South Bank Centre in 2015.
The action research project offered Andrew the chance to create work in a much larger space than usual, enabling Trevor to gain a deeper understanding of the conceptual and tactile physical processes adopted by the artist whilst exploring the problem-solving methods Andrew employs in designing and making. At the end of October, ActionSpace organised an event to share the resulting work from the action research project, inviting Andrew’s fellow artists, friends and family to see his extensive works on display, including a series of intricate objects and hangings using fabric and found materials.
Emma Daker, Exhibitions and Project Development Manager at Craftspace, was thrilled to attend this sharing event. “He had been so prolific over the six sessions with Trevor; there was so much to see. They had built up a clear rapport and the work Andrew created was stunning and represented so many interesting themes and stories. I look forward to seeing the film of the residency which will explore Andrew’s artistic process in the exhibition when it launches next year.”
Action research projects are an intrinsic element of exhibitions organised by Craftspace. They enable questioning and investigation of the theme in collaboration with a small community of interest. Documentation of the project will feature within the exhibition and catalogue in the form of photography and film to provide inspiration for others and Trevor will contribute an essay to the exhibition catalogue, in addition to producing a more academic paper which will be disseminated more widely.
- Click here for more information on ‘Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making’ – a collaborative exhibition between Craftspace and Outside In.
- Read more about Andrew and his work in an interview we conducted with him when he was our Artist of the Month.
- Find out more about ActionSpace here.
- Find out more about Craftspace here.