Weekend Wandering: Craft Fair

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So a fresh week has arrived, and I’ve had the quietest weekend since student life began, as 50% of my flat and my course friend all popped home for a few days. I spent my Saturday like the laziest Sunday you can imagine, with only myself and back to back episodes of Suits to keep me company, only moving once to go to the gym, in an attempt to prevent myself from completely morphing into a potato.

This meant by the time real Sunday actually dawned, I was dying to get out of the flat and exercise my brain in a way that didn’t involve Googling another law term (you need to watch Suits to know).

My flat mate suggested a craft fair she’d heard about through her course, so we hopped on a tram and went further than I imagined the boundaries of Nottingham even stretched (once you’ve lived central city for a couple of months you sort of forget there’s such thing as detached houses and villages). It was based in Lakeside Nottingham Arts, and it was nice to travel a bit out of the centre to get there as it felt like a little escape.

There was such a wide variety of work there and it was brilliant to actually get to talk to the artists and hear them explain their thought processes, ideas, and what some of the pieces were made from. I preferred the more abstract, quirky and funny work to the pretty floral and intricate paintings side of it. My favourite discovery was these beautiful detailed textile and multi media decorative ‘Russian dolls’ by Michaela McMillan.

The faces are cut from magazines and pieced together like collage, and each comes with its own ‘story’ book so these pieces have their own personality. I just thought they were so different and so cool and I could have stood looking at and reading their mini biographies all day.

Ruth Waller‘s work also really stood out to me. Her large scale felted pom pom boards looked so fun, and the shadows these created from each one being suspended on a wire gave them another dimension. Her portrait work was really eye catching as she combined the contrast of old black and white photos and layered thick block bright colours over them in mask-like sweeps, distorting part of the faces.

Not pictured were her black and white embroidered portraits. She combined old and new by overlaying these old fashioned photos with things such as a pair of bright red slatted Kanye West-style glasses. It completely changes the mood of the images into something that’s more pop art-style and tongue-in-cheek.

Also popular was jewellery and pottery – if I had the money to spare I would have emerged with a quirky ring on every finger. I loved these clay charcoal grey rings, I’ve never seen anything like them. One would look gorgeous with a selection of other silver simple rings, and one day I will own one! Chloe Soloman’s work was stunning and had an impressive architectural quality to her abstract necklaces and brooches. She used a form of two tone plastic that cracks away and leaves a texture and pattern not dissimilar to the lines of skin.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed events like this and can’t wait to get stuck in and to all the galleries around Nottingham for more inspiration.

Next on my list is Nottingham Contemporary, to see the Alien Encounters exhibition, as you know how I like the more out of the ordinary, I’m hoping it will fulfil my expectations.

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