The Devon Guild of Craftsmen: A contemporary crafts centre with spacious gallery, restaurant and shop. Its educational charity works in schools to promote creative learning in craft and design, especially in rural areas.
The Devon Guild supports 250 regional members working in different applied arts and craft over the South West. It features an outstanding programme of contemporary craft exhibitions and related educational events and workshops. From international designers to Guild Members and emerging makers, the work on show always presents a varied and exciting range of craft including sustainable and digital applied arts.
Tall Stories – new exhibition of toys and automata at the Devon Guild
Saturday March 13 – Sunday, April, 25
The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon
The Devon Guild’s new exhibition aims to re-animate the world of storytelling through automata: objects that move or have mechanical motion.
The craft of automata was pioneered by the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre in the 1980s. More recently, visual pieces inspiring childlike fantasy and imagination were shown of the recent V&A exhibition ‘Telling Tales’ (2009).
The Devon Guild now brings an exhibition of contemporary hand-crafted toys that will create a most unusual display of characters, action and scenarios for South West visitors.
The work on show has been made by 16 leading craftspeople from round the UK such as Sam Bryan, who creates unique ‘fairies’ from found objects inspired by Victorian gadgetry. She endows her figures with accessories to help them survive in today’s world (the flotation device).
Robert Race is a long-standing name in the world of automata whose movable objects in reclaimed wood have been exhibited as far afield as Japan. Also featured is Andy Hazell, a sculptor of large public artworks often made from reclaimed and tin plate metal. His unique creations are inspired by space travel, folk art and myths.
The South West makers are well represented with half hailing from the region. This includes the St Legers with their tiny windable people; Cleo Mussi with her mosiac mutants and space-man and Chulmleigh-based Tony Mann, whose little ‘folke’ busily translate our world using the ‘Linguisticon’ machine.
With a quiz, a story competition, make your own toy activities and storytelling events during the school holiday, this exhibition promises lots of fun for visiting families. Guild curator Saffron Wynne said: “Tall Stories is about the playfulness of craft. Although the artists have used different mechanics and materials – they’ve all created fantastic stories based on scenarios, animals and figures that will intrigue everyone, child or grown-up.”
Exhibitors: Edwina Bridgeman, Samantha Bryan, Sue Evans, John Grayson, Andy Hazell, Emily Hubbard, Rachel Larkins, Tony Mann, Cathy Miles, Cleo Mussi, Amanda Popham, Robert Race, Wanda Sowry, Lawrence & Angela St Leger, Melanie Tomlinson and Jan Zalud.
Tuesday, April 6: 10.30-11.30am: Storytelling with Wilf Merttens
‘Storytelling is magic. It is a cross between hypnotism and the cinema says Wilf. And he should know because he’s not just any storyteller, he’s the National Young Storyteller of the Year, 2009!
FREE but booking essential. Suitable for children 4 -12 years (and their parents). Jubilee Gallery
Wednesday, April 14: 4.30-5.15pm: Burglar Bill Puppet Show with Armchair Puppets
Using glove and shadow puppets, this gentle version of Burglar Bill will delight all the family. Stripy clothes and burglar masks may be worn! Suitable for children aged 3 -10 years. (Children £4, Adults £1) The Terrace