I missed the opening of the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize on Tuesday, so took the first opportunity to see the full range of the work on display, not just Romilly’s, having listened last night to all twelve of the Today programme interviews online (it’s a good way to get a feel what can be legitimately shown under the umbrella of craft, including bicycles made by a jeweller and work which autodestructs).
First, you have to find it. It’s on the first floor of the Henry Cole Wing, which you reach by going through the new Sackler Centre shop and up the stairs by the Information Desk.
Peter Marigold’s Bleed series is artisan/craft/handmade/conceptual all at once:-
Then the bicycle, a beautiful and immaculate piece of hand-built engineering:-
I’m keen on Celia Pym’s work repairing jerseys as we’re plagued by moths and I like the way the quality of repair invests the piece of clothing with a new life and meaning:-
I had never seen one of Phoebe Cummings’s works, which are astonishingly virtuoso in their use of raw clay. You feel their magnificent, but terrifying temporality:-
Romilly’s is towards the back and is maybe more reticent because smaller scale. She has moved into boxes, still using found archaeological objects which she buys on ebay, including (my favourite) Winter Boxtree, made out of an Anglo-Saxon ring:-
And Tudor Glass with Coral Reef:-
It’s hard to photograph the full ensemble:-
I had seen Laura Youngson Coll’s work in Jerwood Open, but was more impressed by its amazing delicacy and refinement here, made out of vellum and fish skin:-
On the other side is work by Andrea Walsh – very refined, highly abstract minimalism:-
I don’t envy the task of the judges who have to pick a single winner from so much category diversity.