The Craft Study Centre at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham is a hidden gem. Holding a renowned archive collection that includes calligraphy, ceramics, furniture, wood and textiles by influential figures such as Bernard Leach, Ethel Mairet, Phyllis Barron and Edward Johnston, the CSC is used by artists and makers the world over.
In the upstairs gallery until the end of August is ‘Lines and Fragments‘, an exhibition of artist Tim Johnson‘s recent work. Rooted in traditional practices and customs from across the globe these pieces explore the boundaries between craft, art and tradition, pushing his work into new and interesting directions.
Johnson’s art uses local resources that are grown in the surrounding countryside:
‘The specific properties of these plant materials combined with diverse techniques gleaned from researches and experimentation give endless possibilities for creativity and expression.’ CSC
‘As a basketmaker working today I look towards combining tradition and experimentation… Looking at traditional woven objects in museums and collections we find only part of the story of the making and are left to imagine the life of the object ourselves. The rightness of design and signs of usage in old traditional baskets fascinate me and I hope to capture some of their magic in my own makings.’ Tim Johnson
While Johnson’s basketry celebrates the global ‘woven cultural inheritance’, his work is not primarily functional, but is something new – work that glories in the craft of basketry but takes it firmly into the realm of sculpture.
‘Lines and fragments’ can be seen at the Crafts Study Centre
University for the Creative Arts, Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DS until the 31st of August.
Text and photos © Jonathan Dredge