Last December when I was at Carrie Reichardt’s (amazing) house* in London, she showed me some of the pieces of work she had by her friend War Boutique. I was amazed at the way he incorporated his knowledge learned from creating “armour systems for the government,” into his art practice using, as he notes in the video below, Kevlar, ballistic nylon, chain mail, stab vests. There’s more about the origin of his work here.
While you should watch the whole video, as it’s brilliant, one thing he says spoke out to me the most, “In today’s society, there’s so much wrong with society, to me, that’s the role of the artist… to try and keep that highlighted and not let it drift away and become yesterday’s news.”
It’s our (whether you call yourself an artist, crafter or maker) role to make sure people pay attention. Our (collective!) role.
And speaking of Carrie, she currently has a show up at Ink’d in Brighton until April 10, which you can read a review of over at Spindle. The show is called Mad in England, a show about which the Ink’d website notes (click text to read more):
UK renegade potter and leading anarchist Carrie Reichardt will be bringing an eccentric twist to all things British at Ink_d Gallery. As we built up towards the media mania of The Royal Wedding Reichardt has decided she just can’t take it anymore – and this show represents the Great British Empire as ‘Cruel Britannia’ through her unique anarchic vision.”
If you can’t get to the show, you can still own a bit of “Mad in England!”I recently received my specially made mug for the Kate n Wills Royal wedding next month in the mail that Carrie created for the occasion. While it does contain a 4-letter word not suitable for the kitchens of some, it looks quite proper sitting on my kitchen shelf.
*Seriously her house is amazing. They did a 4-page spread on it in The Guardian last year. See the original Guardian article here, and complete with photos over here. (And yes, there is a little blurb about Garth Johnson, Craftivist Collective and I down at the bottom of the article. Way to go, eagle eye!