V&A Article Analysis

For this task, we were given three articles and told to analyse them and answer some questions in order to better understand the role of a designer-maker.
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/power-of-making/power-of-making/6 September 2011–2 January 2012
Guest Curator Daniel Charny and V & A website
The Porter Gallery
Room 48.
This a link to the article.

1. What are the themes behind the exhibition?
The exhibition is designed to show that a diverse range of skills can be used when exploring a variety of materials, and to emphasise that Crafts do have a presence in modern life. It also highlights both old skills, that could perhaps be perceived as ‘old and boring’, alongside the contemporary techniques to show that both have a place and should not be ignored.
The main objective is to highlight the refined craftsmanship, control and application of the designers who produce both the ordinary and the extraordinary.

2. What is the message?
It is to celebrate the role of ‘Making’ as it can be new and innovative, and how it still has a role in our modern day lives; show the diversity of skills and range of materials that are used unique and different ways.
Although controversial, to portray how ‘making’ is one of the most powerful ways to solve problems, and how it defines who we are depending on what and how we make.
Most importantly, how ‘making’ encourages our exploration and imagination so that we can make and design unique things that are both elegant and incredibly useful when in the right environment.

Reviews of the exhibition – Comparison
Passage 2
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-reviews/8743022/Power-of-Making-VandA-review.html Alistair Sooke, The Daily Telegraph
6 Sept 2011

Passage 3http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/reviews/power-of-making-victoria–albert-museum-london-2350941.htmlMichael Glover, Independent Uk
Thursday, 8 September 2011

1. How are they different?
Passage 2 focuses more on the designers and their work, discussing what they have managed to come up with and diverse the range is; whereas, Passage 3 focuses on how modern society takes craftsmanship for granted because not many people see it as a skill anymore especially for the day to day objects that we use all of the time.
2. How are they similar?
On the other hand, they both appreciate the skills that are shown throughout the exhibition. Both of the writers know have a better understanding and look at ordinary objects differently because they think more about the process and ‘craftsmanship’ that has gone into them.
3. How do the reviews respond to the themes of the exhibition as outlined by the curator?
At first, the writer of passage 2 thought that ‘Craft’ connotes amateurism, however, throughout their piece, it became evident that their opinion had changed because they have been able to see how ‘Craft’ can be adapted and changed to still use traditional methods to create contemporary designs to a high standard.
Similarly, the writer of passage 3 now feels that both craftsmen and craftswomen do not get enough attention and praise other than in these exhibitions, which is not bad for those in exhibitions, but it just means that those who are making ‘under the radar’ are not getting the same acknowledgement.
The biggest impact is that both writers agree that the exhibition encourages people to alter how they look at ordinary objects and to try and understand how much work and craftsmanship has gone into designing and making it, so that it has both beauty and purpose.


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