Everyday objects become something more in this captivating collaborative show by two extraordinarily versatile artists.
Second Hand, First Hand sees Marsden Woo Gallery artist Caroline Broadhead and associated artist Maria Militsi reinventing and revitalizing ordinary, domestic objects through their respective practices.
For Broadhead, choosing existing pieces to remake captures them in a state of flux – somewhere between motion and stillness, real and implied – and she explores how this moment can be conveyed through objects rather than images. This interpretation of opposites in her work is extended to her choice of materials - much of her work is intricately beaded, and as such, small individual units form a whole, while the fixed nature of the glass becomes a flexible structure.
In Militsi’s case, domestic wares are revived through carefully crafted metal additions. The unexpected combination of objects and materials in her work reveal hidden or poetic meanings, and often surprise the viewer; a nut grater filled with diamonds, a ladle holding gold earrings. While her pieces refer to jewellery in principle, they are not always wearable in an attempt to raise questions about value and function.
Caroline Broadhead's practice brings the unusually autonomous areas of jewellery, textiles and performance art into close relationship. She describes her work as ‘mainly driven by ideas but making and materials are an integral part of the process. You can’t make things without considering the craft of it’. Broadhead trained at the Central School of Art and Design, London. Public collections that hold examples of her work include the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She was the winner of the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Textiles in 1997. She is Course Leader of BA Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins and has been a visiting lecturer at various national and international institutions.
Maria Militsi employs the potential of objects as echoes of experience, as fragments of memory and as markers of loss. She is interested in things that are ordinary and familiar but have a strangeness to them, and seeks to bring different objects and ideas into close relationship to form new meanings. Militsi first trained at the Mokume School of Jewellery in Greece before gaining a BA (Hons) in Jewellery from Middlesex University in 2006, and an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery from the Royal College of Art in 2008. She held the post of Head Designer at a jewellery company in Thessalonika (1995 – 2002) before establishing her own art-jewellery practice, and has exhibited internationally, in London, New York, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Japan.
Militsi's major series Ballet-to-Remember was purchased for the Crafts Council Collection in 2010, and 'Fragments of Memory', her solo exhibition in the Marsden Woo Project Space, took place in November/December 2011.