Basketry : Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention

“Basketry: Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention is a visual slice across contemporary UK basket making. There are some 35 makers spilling over all three galleries at Ruthin Craft Centre. The exhibition shows what is being made today – and by whom – across basketry’s beautiful variety of shapes, materials and weaves.” Jane Audas, August 2021

Amanda Fielding, then Curator of the Craft Council Collection, wrote in 1999 for an exhibition titled Interwoven: Objects, Baskets, Forms “as the full title of this exhibition suggests, the term basket is too constraining to describe the plethora of objects to find their way under its umbrella…… there is more to contemporary baskets than orthodox containers and ways of making.” Now some two decades on Basketry: Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention continues and updates that trajectory of investigation to promote and extend the understanding and appreciation of contemporary basketry.

Basketry is a broad church of intelligent diversity; from the meticulous observance of ancient lore to ‘out-there’ iconoclastic revolutionary forms that challenge both materiality and function. There are of course those who make beautifully woven contemporary vessels informed by the rhythm of tradition; the seasonal pattern of the growth of materials, harvesting and making. Of these some techniques are steeped in history of specific use, others are renewed and adapted for today. While some use and reinvent technique as a springboard to push boundaries and celebrate innovation.

Basketry is an ancient craft as seen in some of the earliest found ceramics clay was pressed into woven baskets to become dish forms, the woven pattern remains. As can be seen Basketry in the twenty-first century is many things. It is a craft of our time, and at the vanguard of sustainability. While many basket makers promote environmental responsibility, they also hold our hopes and keep alive traditions; they can eventually contain our entire lives. Contemporary basketmaking is alive today and basket makers well placed to reach out into the future.

Ruthin Craft Centre
Basketry : Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention is curated by Gregory Parsons
Dates: 25th Sept 2021 – 9th Jan 2022

Twitter: @rcc_crafts / Instagram: @rccgallery

Text: With thanks Gregory Parsons. Photo credits: copyright Ruthin Craft Centre and Dewi Tannatt Lloyd. Baskets featured: in order. 1. Pip Rice 2. Alison Dickens 3. Mandy Coates 4.Clare Revera 5. Ewen Balfour 6. Josey Goodin

{ Comments are closed! }