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Image: Angie Parker’s work at London Craft Week 2019, photo by Dan Weill, courtesy LCW.
Design-Nation secures major support from Arts Council England

As a leading British design and craft portfolio Design-Nation is delighted to announce the awarding of a major Lottery grant by Arts Council England. This award is the largest ever given to the organisation and with other match-funding, it will enable significant transformation and development of the brand and its UK-wide operation.

The award is made under the Arts Council’s national activities programme and enables Design-Nation to deliver a new expanded programme of talent development initiatives and partnership projects to support its growing membership of highly skilled and talented designers and makers across the UK.

Peter Knott of Arts Council England, said: “We’re committed to supporting the development of creative talent across the country and we’re delighted to be investing £300,000 of National Lottery funds to Design-Nation. Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not, and our new strategy Let’s Create, sets out a vision where the creative talent of every person in every village, town and city, can flourish”.

Councillor Lindsey Cawrey, North Kesteven District Council Executive Board Member with special interest in the arts says, "The design economy generates over £85m annually for the UK economy and employs around 1.7m people, making it the seventh largest employment sector in the country. However, not everyone has the opportunity to communicate their ideas, express their talent or access the right support. This is why the Arts Council grant of National Lottery funding to NKDC to develop, champion and promote good design through Design-Nation is so important, as Design-NatIon will be able to continue opening up those opportunities for more people."
Director Clare Edwards said, “We look forward to enriching our programme and regional partnerships and driving forward a new era of support which develops excellence and innovation in contemporary craft, design and product across the UK.”
More information here.
L-R; Linda Bloomfield, Alex O'Conner; Images courtesy of artists
Design-Nation members at Collect

The craft and design world looks forward to the 16th Collect Fair later this month, the Crafts Council’s annual art fair and the perfect opportunity to discover and invest in exceptional work, much of which is made especially for the Fair. Collect is moving to beautiful new premises, as Fair Director Isobel Dennis explains: “The Fair’s new London home, Somerset House, is an exciting development in the life of Collect allowing exhibitors to contextualise and curate modern craft and design against a backdrop of 18th century architecture, high ceilings and picture windows looking out onto the Thames”.
Within the Collect Open, showcases of a dozen ambitious craft-led installations, three Design-Nation members are presenting new work: Linda Bloomfield’s new glazed porcelain works explore pollution’s effect on plant life. Linda says, “I am excited to have the opportunity to exhibit at Collect Open and will be making an installation to bring attention to the effect of global warming on lichens.”

New member Jacky Oliver is also looking at the environment, and creating a metalwork “appreciation” of growing one’s own garden, in response to the ecological challenges the planet is facing. Jacky also faced her own challenges, saying, “Being selected for Collect has pushed my practice in so many ways. Working on a self-initiated body of work, giving myself the time to take my ideas in different directions, developing them more thoroughly, grant application, promoting myself. It’s been one of the steepest learning curves I’ve had in over 25 years of practice.” Read our recent interview with Jacky on our blog here.

Margo Selby is currently developing her art practice to focus on larger scale paneled artworks, each individually designed and hand woven in her Whitstable studio. Margo says, “When creating an artwork, it feels like I am painting with yarn, exploring how colours and yarns react to the shades that I place beside them. I achieve the different hues by blending yarns on the loom rather than dyeing, similar to pointillism the colours mix in your eye rather than physically. I’m interested in the relationship between man and machine, hand and industry. The loom and the disciplined nature of weaving provides boundaries and constraints which can be pushed against.“
Away from the Collect Open features, a number of prestigious galleries are also showing inspiring Design-Nation members' work: Alex O’Connor’s silverware will be on display with Goldsmiths’ Fair and Angus Ross will be showing a new collection of furniture with Craft Scotland. Paper artist Hannah Lobley debuts at Collect showing her new Paperoak pieces with Ruup & Form. Gallery director Varuna Kollanethu says,“The works explore innovative ways to push boundaries, blurring the line between craft, environment and technology... blending and diversifying... by using various techniques, with recycling at the heart of the practice.”
L-R: Darren Ball, Rachel Morley; images courtesy of the artists
Spring Fairs and Exhibitions Update

With Top Drawer ss20 under our belt we move onto the next two exciting trade fairs: the Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE) and BCTF, both in Harrogate. The ACE event is 19 to 20 March and we are bringing 12 designers: Bridget Macklin, Clare Pentlow, Darren Ball, Jillian Riley, Josie Walter, Kira Phoenix K’inan, Linescapes, Michaela McMillan, Olive Pearson, Rachel Morley, Sarah Villeneau and Susannah Weiland. Shortly after is the British Craft Trade Fair, from 4-7 April, at which we are presenting 5 designers: Angela Ibbs, Ann Povey, Atlantic Design Studio, Emma Jane Rule and Inner Finn. More details on all of these exhibitors will be revealed next month.
Then in late April we’ll be back with London Craft Week, where our project The Future of Craft, with partners Oxo Tower Wharf and Future Icons, has its second outing. We have a really terrific line up this year with over 25 Design-Nation members confirmed, including last October’s MADE London winner of the Design-Nation newcomer award, jeweller Bronwen Gwillim; some very special installations; and our first ever showing of our talented graduate members. These designers really are the future of craft. Keep tuned for more news very soon.
Member and Partner news
L-R: Margo Selby, Tom Galt; images courtesy of the artists.
Margo Selby launches an artwork-focused partnership with the beautifully curated gallery and retail space, The Conservatory in New York.
Working with founder Brian Bolke and merchandising director Lucy McCabe, Margo has collated 8 hand-woven artworks with a unifying, vibrant palette for their New York gallery space.

Dan Blott of BLOTT WORKS will be replacing the acrylic dome on his interactive donations kiosk, Tree Penny Falls, made as a commission for Malvern Theatres last year. The last dome was irreparably damaged when an enthusiastic high-kicking theater-goer put her stiletto heal through it following a performance of Cabaret a few weeks after it was delivered. The repaired and strengthened kiosk will be up and running in the foyer again from early February 2020.

Melody Rose has been selected as a finalist for the Tableware International Awards 2020 in the Category of Licenced Collaborations for their designs for the Sir John Soane's Museum recent Hogarth exhibition. See the range here.
L-R: Melody Rose, Blott work; images courtesy of the artists 
Keep in touch:
Look out for our next newsletter when we'll be announcing our exhibitors for 2020's spring  fairs.

Read about Jonathan Rose and Angie Parker's collaboration and other members insights and inspirations on our blog. 

You can follow us and our members daily on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for more news and images. Please email us directly with any questions. If this newsletter was forwarded to you and you would like to receive more, please sign up here.  

Kind regards,
Clare Edwards / Hayley Banks /
Liz Cooper / Laura Jacometti / Molly Petts
The team at Design-Nation incorporating Design Factory

Design-Nation: future thinking for craft and design
Design-Nation is owned by North Kesteven District Council and operates with the support of Arts Council England and the Radcliffe Trust.
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Copyright © 2020 Design-Nation. All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this because you have signed up for our newsletter, via our website or by direct request to our team, or you are an existing Friend of Design-Nation through work we have done together.

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Design-Nation · The National Centre for Craft & Design · Navigation Wharf, Carre Street · Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 7TW · United Kingdom

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