Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sleight of Hand

The ACJ annual exhibition for 2015, "Sleight of Hand" opened last Thursday at The Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton-on-Trent. It is incredible to think that this show took 18 months to pull together, especially as it feels like moments ago that one of our board members, Linda Lambert, threw the idea for the title into the conversation: everyone loved it and now it is "up" and open.

Some of you will recall that I made a pocket-watch for the show, entitled "Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat" and this week I bought the catalogue image by Russell Barker at Progressive Imaging as it is so good:

Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat - Professional Photograph

I think that the jury have pulled together a superb show, one which is varied, shows both new and established makers and which - for all the diversity of submissions - hangs well together. I had originally though when I made my piece, "nobody else would be so obvious as to make a rabbit in a hat..." but I was wrong, of course! I particularly liked Susan Wainwright's "Conjuring Trick":

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 5

And Anthony Wong's Tommy Cooper-referencing "Spoon-Jar, Jar-Spoon" and "Fez Bracelet":

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 9

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 10

Terry Hunt's work also displays a sly humour:

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 2

And I especially liked Karen Westland's Molecular Cloud:

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 7

And Maria Whetman's Material Landscape Cluster:

Sleight Of Hand - ACJ Member Show 2015 - 4

I would have photographed more but have to confess that the venue is not really suited to a jewellery display. It is very dark, the cabinets are not jewellery cabinets but vitrines which would be more suited to larger works and the lighting is inconsistent.

The show travels on from Brewhouse to The Scottish Gallery in October - where the hanging and display is always impeccable - and to the gallery space at Plymouth College of Art.

I didn't get to see much of the town. All I had previously know about it was that it had been largely a brewing centre and that Jonathan Meades heaped opprobrium upon the planning director who tore down all the Victorian brewery buildings. It is still very much a brewing centre:


and there is still a lot of fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture to be seen.

Burton-on-Trent Town Hall

B. Grant & Sons - 1

And back to Birmingham...

Bullring Owl

I've no idea what these owls are all about but they are everywhere. Some of them are even quite funny, like this one outside the Selfridge's building (by Future Systems). Yet another photograph of this building to my collection!