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Workshop Wunderkammer

Workshop Wunderkammer, Helen Ingram, 2018
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Published date
15 March 2018

Showcasing the boldness and breadth of our technical teams with a cabinet of curiosities, Workshop Wunderkammer features the work of 28 technicians across the College and brings together a diverse range of materials and processes from letterpress to digital embroidery and projection.

Curated by Laura Baker, Specialist Technician in Digital Textile Print, the works on view celebrate the innovation and expertise of Central Saint Martins’ technicians. As Baker says, “the works show we are all makers too and that there is a wealth of skills here that students can feed off on. Ultimately, the exhibition showcases our love of making – walking, sleeping, living and breathing, making. That’s what everyone in this exhibition is about: creating, manufacturing, and a love of what they do.” The scope of their practices also highlights the fabrication methods and innovation made possible within the workshops, ranging from the traditional to the cutting-edge.

The Whole of My Life Has Been Devoted to Creation, Helen Ingham, 2017

In a nod to the often-unseen internal workings of the College, the exhibition mirrors the colour-coded ‘OTTER’ system used to manage the technical workshops. Each work is labelled with its representative department colour, creating a spectrum which highlights the varied processes and specialist knowledge across disciplines. Speaking about the curatorial curiosity of the exhibition, Baker said, “it showcases so many different things, and because it’s in the Window Galleries it became a sort of wunderkammer. We essentially sent out an open call to the technical staff without a theme, so as the range of works came in, this felt like the most appropriate framing device.”

The titular Workshop Wunderkammer signage and graphics have been designed and produced especially by Letterpress Specialist Helen Ingham. Ingham used the traditional technique of reverse glass gilding with 23.5 carat gold alongside digital design technologies, and the sign itself has been framed by Printmaking Specialist Technician Paul Dewis.

The display lifts the curtain on a thriving culture of collaboration within and across departments. Six staff members of the Drama and Performance technical team have produced a large-scale performative light installation, and long-term collaborators Ingham and Specialist Technician in Metalwork Ricky Brawn are exhibiting a series of records which encompass the breadth of their practice: writing, playing and recording as well as the design and production of the record sleeves. While Lara Smithson’s series of drawings My feet lead the way and glow red, which themselves incorporate multiple 2D digital technologies, have been framed in unique wax and wood frames made in the 3D Large workshop.

My feet lead the way and glow red, Lara Smithson, 2017

Workshop Wunderkammer continues in the Window Galleries until 21 March 2018.