Now in its fifth year the Jerwood Makers Open awards five applied artists £7500 each to realise a project that would not so easily find a commercial commission or public funding. It's a worthy sideline of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and this year applicants were first whittled down to ten before the final five from over two hundred and sixty proposals.
The Silo Studio are two RCA graduates working together in a hinterland between engineering and industrial design with a more craft-like sensibility. They simply present a few dishes in the first room next to the reception desk and before the cafe, though their bowls are anything but. Rather than lathed or merely using moulds, the pair have designed and built an advanced inertial machine, a device they use to capture the concave nature of contained liquid as it spins around an axis. Using jesmonite, a gypsum acrylic compound, they add colour to the moving resin and manipulate the flow creating different curves through interruptions and the software of their invention.
Around to the left sits the more sculptural work of Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Ian McIntyre. The former divides the room with Partition - coming across like something imagined by Sol LeWitt or Mona Hatoum it is a wall of ceramic cubes you are partially able to see through but that as the title suggests separates you from the other side of the room. The artist is interested in the digitisation of our culture and these forms, though all hand made, are amassed not unlike computer aided design comprises an image.
The sheer volume of McIntyre's crockery initially appears to be the ton of it's title but it actually refers to a Isaac Button, the last true English Country Potter, who was reputed to be able to throw a ton of clay in a day. In this he was considered a craftsman of industrial scale - and this is an area the artist wants to explore further using ex-industrial machinery and creating plates similar enough, though each lacking the perfection of automated making. They stack well but the variations in their edges are evident in the towers presented on the shelves.
The room behind is entirely occupied by an installation by Marlene Hartmann Rasmussen. Using neon and ceramics, wood, MDF and perspex a dreamworld of kitsch and pseudo-fairytales is created; magic mushrooms, bubbly flowers, bear/troll creatures and a little mouse of a rope ladder - its runs made of bones, mystical trees and eggs that could have been laid by a metallic ostrich... Exploring the subconscious it makes for a significant departure from the form seen before.
Jasleen Kaur heads up the five quite literally with Marbled Busts. A series of heads look at the parallels and differences between the Western tradition of immortalising individuals in stone and the mass-produced devotional trinkets found in India and the Far East. She uses marbled plastics, here they are placed higher than head height and larger than head size, making for a further implication of respect much like the gods worshipped in the Indian home.
http://www.jerwoodvisualarts.org/3491/Jerwood-Makers-Open-2015/460 until August 30th