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'Craft is an embarrassment for the construction of modern art'
- Glenn Adamson, Thinking Through Craft, 2009.

What would Frida think?

Image: Frida Kahlo handmade pillow on Etsy here

Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills,
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Unto This Last

20 May to 25 July 2010
With work by Thomas Bayrle, Sarah Browne, Andrea Büttner, Alice Channer, Isabelle Cornaro, Dewar & Gicquel, Pernille Kapper Williams and Běla Kolářová

‘Unto This Last’ takes its cue from John Ruskin’s eponymous book to consider the complicated relationships between contemporary art and craft.

Written in 1860 as a manifesto against the prevailing economic theories of the mid-19th century, Unto This Last summons a series of moral arguments to denounce what its author perceived as the devastating social consequences of capitalism. Ruskin’s writings on economy and art inspired the Arts and Crafts movement, which advocated the primacy of handcraft and opposed the division of labour that lay at the heart of the capitalist model. A few decades later the very notion of craft would be widely seen as adverse to the imperatives of modernity and its definition of art, a misconception which has to some extent subsisted to this day.

The exhibition suggests that a number of contemporary artists simultaneously abide by the codes of conceptual practice – autonomy, dematerialisation, abstraction and lack of skills, among others – and to various degrees draw on the critical potential of craft. By introducing supposedly anti-conceptual notions such as artisanship, skill, or emotion, craft effectively provides them with an opportunity to take an unconventional and enlightening look at a variety of personal and collective concerns.

An essay by Glenn Adamson, author of Thinking Through Craft and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum will accompany the exhibition, which has been curated by Alice Motard in collaboration with Alex Sainsbury.

Under the term ‘skill’ I mean to include the united force of experience, intellect, and passion, in their operation on manual labour: and under the term ‘passion’ to include the entire range and agency of the moral feelings; from the simple patience and gentleness of mind […] up to the qualities of character which renders science possible […] and to the incommunicable emotion and imagination which are the first and mightiest sources of all value in art.
John Ruskin, Unto This Last, 1860

Image: Pernille Kapper Williams, Matter upon Matter, 2008. Porcelain, 10.5 x 16 cm (Ø 12.5 cm) Photo: François Doury. Courtesy the artist.


Crochetdermy by artist Shauna Richardson.
Image held here

Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills,
entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome
to selfinterestandsympathy@ gmail.com.

knitting-graffiti-stockholm

Knitting graffiti, Stockholm. Image held here

You may never find your grandmother wearing a hoodie armed with a can of Krylon on the streets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take cues from her for the latest in street art.

Alternative methods of graffiti that involve knitting, cleaning and gardening are questioning the definition of graffiti – and taking it to the next level. Instead of defacing, these methods enhance or reface public space. They’re providing new ways to make statements in public, whether for ads, social commentary, or art.

Jackie Myint

Thanks to Audrey for this one.

Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills, entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail [dot] com
Photos are from a recent course at no.w.here, London, where Jesse and I became intimately acquainted with the Bolex camera.

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Moving away from Amateur Hour‘s recent focus on needlecrafts, this week’s entry was the winner in the category of ‘Something New from Something Old’ at the recent Manorhamilton Agricultural Show: a plant pot made from leftover decking.

*Amateur Hour, a showcase at Self Interest and Sympathy for new learning, knowledge, skill or entertainment* Submissions welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail.com

From How to Do Things.com

Rnd 1: Ch 4, join w sl st in 1st ch to form ring, ch 3, 11 dc in ring, join w sl st in top of ch 3 (12 dc). Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, * dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * around, join as before (16 dc). Rnds 3-4: Ch 3, dc in each dc around, join as before (16 dc). Rnd 5: Ch 3, dc in next dc, dc dec over next 2 dc, * dc in next 2 dc, dc dec over next 2 dc, rep from * around, join as before, fasten off, leaving a 12″ length of yarn for sewing (12 dc).

Finishing:Stuff rock lightly with fiberfill. Weave 12″ length of yarn through tops of Rnd 5 dcs, pull to close hole, secure with a few sts. Glue on wiggle eyes. Let dry. Enjoy!

For children 3 and under, eliminate the wiggle eyes and embroider 2 French knots for eyes.

  

*Amateur Hour, a showcase at Self Interest and Sympathy for new learning, knowledge, skill or entertainment* Submissions welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail.com

Vivre Sans Temps Mort [Live Without Dead Time] – the Situationist International, 1968

embroidery on cotton and nylon.

S.I. Archives

*Amateur Hour, a showcase at Self Interest and Sympathy for new learning, knowledge, skill or entertainment* Submissions welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail.com

 

*Amateur Hour, a showcase at Self Interest and Sympathy for new learning, knowledge, skill or entertainment* Submissions welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail.com

*Amateur Hour, a new showcase at Self Interest and Sympathy for new learning, knowledge, skill or entertainment* Submissions welcome!

This week: Moneygami

I didn’t realise before I had the idea that others had had it first… unsurprising. There is an especially impressive range of dollar bill moneygami on the internet, some samples shown here. I’m not sure if this is because of the design (status, cultural cachet) of the dollar bill or the particular inventiveness of its crafters.. my own efforts in euro weren’t nearly as impressive.

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