It’s now less than a week until Telling Tales, The Byre’s summer exhibition, opens on 14th August. These final few days of preparation are always the most exciting – and the most stressful. There is huge thrill when a package of new craft arrives and a sense of awe at the incredible talent of the makers who produce such stunning pieces. But this is also the moment when I see if my plans really work; if the styling and curatorial ideas I’ve had in my head for the past few months finally come together.
Of course it is also great fun and the aspect I love most about my job is bringing all the pieces of craft together, styling and putting them in groupings which enhance and flatter the individual pieces. Seeing new work for the first time can also inspire a new approach to curating. I had seen Claire Palastanga’s stunning spiky porcelain work in a smaller form and loved them, but I was totally blown away by her larger piece Wave which resembles the shell of an exotic sea creature, delicate and fragile looking it is surprisingly solid and quite simply stunning; it deserves a prominent position in the show, so a rethink on styling is required!
Claire is just one of the makers whose work I’m showing at The Byre for the first time and I’ll share more about the other new makers and their craft in coming weeks. I’m also thrilled by new work from makers who have previously shown at The Byre: Charlotte Sale and Ruth Shelley have each produced some gorgeous, vibrant new glass work; ceramicists Paul Cardew and Pauline Lee have both built on the wonderful work they each showed in the last exhibition with fantastic new collections, and Remon Jephcott has made a series of striking wall hung plates inspired by the idea of telling and sharing stories.