The art of design and manufacturing is being celebrated in Bolton with 'makers' taking their inspiration from the humble tubular bandstand chair.

The exhibition is being put on by  artists from the Bolton-based Hive collective.

Entitled "Maker Project: Re Connected" the exhibition features art, craft and design works to showcase the creative practices and thought processes of ten UK based ‘makers’ selected for their specialist knowledge and artisan skills.

Coming from a range of disciplines, each has delivered unique reinterpretations of the chair whilst celebrating the importance of ‘thinking through practice’.

The exhibition , which is on  now, has been curated by Associate Teaching Professor Tom Sutton, from the School of the Arts at the University of Bolton.

Formerly trained as a fine metal smith and furniture designer maker, Tom has thirty years of knowledge and experience spanning both the creative industries and education.

The Maker Project was created in response to concerns outlined in the 2016 Crafts Council report which identifies the ongoing reduction of vocational and creative education at all levels.

There are fears that in the longer term this will inevitably lead to a shortage of skilled makers and loss of specialist practices both within and the arts and wider professional sectors.

The exhibition premiered at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2019 and now this show brings back together the collection of chairs, or reconstructed interpretations, with examples of each maker’s own work celebrating the skills of these highly creative professionals.

The Bolton News: Re Connected gallery shotRe Connected gallery shot (Image: Julie Levy - Hive Gallery)

 Tom said: “This exhibition not only explores the physical act of making but the essential and detailed thought process behind it.

“We want to raise public awareness by exhibiting the pieces alongside publishing the creative thinking of each maker on the website.

“It also aims to inspire and inform experiential teaching methods which can be delivered across all levels of education by presenting a new model that returns balance to academic and vocational learning.”

Directors of Hive Artists CIC, Julie Levy and Steph Dermott, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this imaginative and skilfully designed and constructed collection of works to the Bolton community.

“It really is a privilege to have work of this quality fully accessible to everyone in the town centre, we encourage you to come along to the gallery to see it for yourself.

“There is also opportunity to meet some of the makers throughout the day on Saturday, February 17.”

The Hive Gallery is situated on the Upper Ground Floor of the Market Place Shopping Centre, Bolton BL1 2AN.

The exhibition is open to the public every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 5pm until February 22.

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