RBSA Craft Gallery Showcase

The RBSA’s Craft Gallery has established a reputation as the leading outlet in the Midlands for contemporary craft. Through its programme of creatively-themed exhibitions, the RBSA Craft Gallery showcases designer makers from across the UK, exploring contemporary approaches to traditional craft-making techniques and materials. Each exhibition is a feast for the senses as well as the mind, displaying the functional alongside the innovative. The RBSA also provides opportunities for designer makers to exhibit their work in the heart of Birmingham’s creative and historic Jewellery Quarter, demonstrating its continued support of Britain’s handmade craft industry.

Becky Adams, Claire Brewster, Lowri Davies, Leoma Drew, Natalie Jane Harris, Melissa Hunt, Sarah Jennings, Hannah Louise Lamb, Cathy Miles, John Moore, Kevin Andrew Morris, Sarah Morpeth, April Neate, Cosima Sempill (Kitty & Dude), Clare Stiles Melanie Tomlinson, Frankii Tonge, Jill Walker.

Birds of a feather flock together in the RBSA Craft Gallery’s first exhibition of 2011. Featuring a host of talented designer makers, this distinctive exhibition explores the use and application of bird motifs, demonstrating how birds inspire shape and form as well as pattern and surface design. With spring fast-approaching and the return of birdsong in the mornings, this colourful exhibition is bound to take away those winter blues.

(From left to right: Hannah Louise Lamb, Cosima Sempill (Kitty & Dude), John Moore and April Neate.

Featured Designer Makers
April Neate’s most recent collection of jewellery is made from dyed and textured aluminium with silver detailing. April’s colourful pieces explore freedom and identity, with compositions and patterns inspired by wallpaper, architecture and historic fashions. April is intrigued by how we communicate through dress, especially our preconceived ideas about how jewellery should be worn, and the materials from which it should be made.

Becky Adams is a designer maker based in Penarth, South Wales. She applies bird motifs to a combination of stitched paper, vintage fabric, old sketchbooks and antique ephemera, to create intricate textile and book assemblages. Becky ‘collects’ stories and memories which she uses as inspiration for her pieces. Her works reflect upon the human condition; each one is aware of its past, its present and its untold future. In the construction of each piece, Becky embodies and preserves a story with every careful stitch.

Paper artist Claire Brewster’s work is about retrieving the discarded, celebrating the unwanted and giving new life to the obsolete. Claire uses old and out-of-date maps and atlases as fabric to create her intricate, delicate and detailed paper cuts. Claire takes inspiration from nature’s struggle against our urban lifestyles, creating installations of flora and fauna from imagined locations. Her paper-cut birds, insects and flowers transcend ‘borders’ and pass freely between countries with scant regard for rules of migration or the effects of biodiversity.

Based at the Coburg House Studios in Edinburgh, ceramicist Cosima Sempill creates work that aims, unconsciously, to ignite feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality. After graduating from Glasgow School of Art, Cosima also started her own ceramic gift ware company; Kitty & Dude. Her pieces are heavily decorated with block patterns that are punctuated with a variety of bird life. Fascinated by birds and their movement, Cosima translates this into her work by experimenting with decorative patterns and ceramic forms. These quirky and unique ceramics are Cosima’s personal interpretation of childhood memories, with a nod to 1950’s Pop Art and culture.
So why not come along and cast your eagle eyes over our exhibition – it’s on until 8 April!

Admission: Free. Gallery Open: Mon – Fri 10.30-5.30, Sat 10.30-5.00, Sun 1.00-5.00

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