Ornament: Collecting Contemporary Craft. Visit to Touchstones Rochdale
First stop was Touchstones Rochdale where I met with Art Gallery Officer and Curator Yvonne Hardman and she kindly showed me around the galleries and behind the scenes.
Touchstones Rochdale brings together an art gallery, museum, heritage gallery, local studies centre, education space, shop and café with a dynamic exhibition and events programme. The art gallery collects and regularly shows contemporary craft by some of the UK’s leading artists.
Yvonne and I discussed the story of how this group of objects came to be part of Touchstone Rochdale’s collection and we thought about how we might choose an artist for Ornament. The conversation revealed some interesting themes including the significance of the piece at the time it was made, when it was purchased and now.
The artist we both agreed on is Junko Mori. Her piece owned by Touchstones Rochdale is called Propagation Project: Super Jumbo Nigella, Wave.
Image courtesy of Junko Mori and Adrian Sassoon
Made in 2011 from Forged Mild Steel and then Wax Coated, this is Mori’s largest piece of work to date created at her studio in North Wales. Incorporating the repetition of an organic form, it also echoes the nature of a wave and was created as a response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Mori’s native Japan.
This piece of Junko Mori’s work was awarded to Touchstones Rochdale through Art Fund Collect 2012, a competition for curators at the Craft Council’s international fair for contemporary objects supported by the Art Fund.
The assembling of multiples of forged metal is the key to Junko Mori’s work. Her observations of nature, here the petals of the Nigella plant, are the driving force behind her sculptures which vary in scale from small objects in precious metals such as silver to large scale pieces in steel as in this case.
Propagation Project: Super Jumbo Nigella, Wave will feature in Ornament as part of GNCCF 2014 and then return to Touchstones Rochdale to be featured in an exhibition called A Common Ground from 13 December 2014 – 7 March 2015. This will feature more of Junko Mori’s work alongside ceramics by Ikuko Iwamoto and jewellery by Kayo Saito.
Junko Mori and Touchstone Rochdale are part of:
Ornament: Collecting Contemporary Craft
The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Old Granada Studios