Material Connections, hosted at The Koppel Projects Central gallery, presented an exhibition and week long workshop series, curated by Abbie Adams. Featuring works by a group of emerging creatives who look to materials and making to engage in a wider conversation of culture, social and environmental sustainability.

 

It has been recognised in recent years that craft and making can be a valid and effective way of engaging with people and ideas, from waste streams in agriculture and forestry to the preservation of cultural heritage and redefining of community. Designers are shifting away from an emphasis on direct functionality and are instead instilling narratives through making. In an industry where surface impressions are too often all that matters this exhibition celebrates the inherent integrity of craft-making processes.

 

The exhibited works are collaborative, bringing together people and materials from all over the world; from ancient glass blowing techniques in Herat, pine bark harvested in Latvia, embroidery from Beit Ummar and garments hand crocheted by 'Kanyogoa' mothers in Uganda. The event seeks to cast light upon practitioners who utilise making as a tool to narrate material fiction and show that shared skill and cooperation are central to creative collaboration.

 

The workshop series invites the public into each practitioner's practice and their unique approach to material culture: the connection between human and material. The workshop series and exhibition go hand-in-hand, engaging with exhibited narratives through the act of making deepens the commitment to a cause.

Samak Bila Bi Delo, Wella Embroideries (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

ISHAKR, Craftmanship from Countries at War (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Cecily Ophelia, ETAKA (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Merle Bergers, What's in a Tear (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Abbie Adams, The teYos Project (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Sarmite Polakova, Pine Skin (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Billie Van Katwijk, Ventri (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Harry Smithson, Process Through Sound (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Samak Bilab Bi Delo, Naturally died Syrian Silk 

Cecily Ophelia, ETAKA (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Harry Smithson, Process Through Sound (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Material Connections Private View (Photo Credit: Angus Grant) 

Workshop 1: Merle Bergers, Bottle the Fragrant Language of a Rose

Workshop 2: Samak Bilab Bi Delo, Embroidering Identities

Workshop 5: Cecily Ophelia, Seeds of Change