Friday, 7 March 2008

Anders Ruhwald at 6pm studio

Friday 8th Feb. 2008 – Anders Ruhwald at 6pm studio
I woke up on Wednesday, and ‘Oh, bugger,’ I thought, ‘I’ve missed it again,’ I thought and again ‘Oh BUGGER,’ as I realised that this was the last 'Collect' at the V&A that had drifted slowly past me. Oh well it was a busy week for the Craft Circuit, and how often can one say that?
I did get to 'Collect' once, twice in fact, but I’ll come back to that.
Right now, it’s time for a bit of hard-core craft analysis/gossip.
First we’ll take a trip to South London, to Tulse Hill in fact, to the throbbing heart of happening ceramics, the studio of Edmund de Waal, where the first outing, (23rd -27th Jan. 2008), of the 6pm workspace was strutting its stuff with giant worm-like creatures propped up on sticks like some appalling genetically modified allotment nightmare.
pictures here and here
The vile progeny were not only vast, for worms, but toxic colours, mauve, yellow and orange. Exactly the sort of thing you really don’t want either on your allotment, or in your studio. They looked like they were made of fibre-glass, but apparently they were earthenware. I kept having all the wrong thoughts, like, ‘I wonder how much they weigh.’
It’s a strange thing, You have to be very deeply dug into ceramics really to get any kind of conversation going with these works. ‘Form and Function’ it bravely asserted. This was the title. To ‘get’ it you have to know Mr. Leach. Well to ‘get’ that side of it at least. Otherwise you can just get into their creepiness, which is largely about identifying with the other sort of Leech.
Ok, so let’s be perverse, and pretend for a moment that they are made of fibre glass, or some kind of plastic. They have a sort of upside down IKEA look to them. They’re made by one Anders Ruhwald. Danish chap. I like them better now they’re made of fibre glass, because I can move them around my loft apartment. They somehow seem more alive. They’re just a bit too turdy as clay. No two ways about it, I’m more charmed by the Leech discourse than I am by the Leach discourse, or the anti-Leach discourse as this would presumably be. Looking on the bright side however, we are, presumably, seeing the first stirrings of the Ceramics Establishment, lumbering slowly away from its relentless preoccupation with solid, stupefyingly dull, modernism. We’re on un-truth to materials now apparently. Halleluja. But dear god, please let those leeches be speedy movers. What bliss it would be to leave all that stuff behind and glide gracefully into a Ceramics Spring. Is this really so much to ask for? But then what would the establishment do?
I guess I should be optimistic; these worms are trying that long-preserved ceramic virtue. I wish they’d get a move on though, so the rest of us can get out of the mausoleum and embrace in the sun.

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