Alice Kettle and I have a history of collaborating with each other, which began with the joint exhibition Place Settings.
Alice Kettle was commissioned by Hampshire County Council to create a major public artwork for the Winchester Discovery Centre — a vivid and compelling exploration of the history of the city and of the limits of machine stitch as a medium. On my part, a residency at the Jingdezhen Experimental Factory in China had culminated in a new body of work inspired by this journey that echo experiences of the Chinese landscape and people. Place Settings is the story of these projects and experiences.
In the course of mounting this exhibition, conversations between Alice and I brought to light shared concerns and shared methods. From these conversations, collaborative work was created, which marked a new phase in our work. These collaborative explorations brought together two distinct areas of practice and two distinct characters, through collaboration, spontaneity and openness.
This collaborative approach later extended to the curatorship of projects which include the Pairings: Conversations, Collaborations, Materials conference at Manchester School of Art, The House of Eloi for Unravelling Uppark, and the New Generation — Design for Living conference at Design Manchester 2016.
Nº 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Photos — Ade Hunter