‘dis/rupt’ presents new and existing work by two contemporary makers, London-based Jochen Holz and Belfast-based Derek Wilson. Unique to both makers is a reinterpretation of their materials, exploring notions of functionality, the familiar, and the abstract, each challenging the properties and parameters of their chosen medium.
Glass artist, Jochen Holz, produces vibrant, organically shaped glassware with a spontaneous energy. Holz specialises in lampworking, a free-flowing technique that transforms prefabricated borosilicate glass tubes by melting with a torch. He is one of few makers practising the method in Britain, with each one-off piece of molten glass given fluid shape and texture through the use of bespoke tools. Ceramicist, Derek Wilson focuses on using the potter’s wheel as a tool for making an eclectic range of functional and sculptural objects. At the core of Wilson’s practice is a process of altering and assembling, which involves the reconstruction of archetypal vessels into complex abstract forms, drawing emphasis on the subtle tonalites in surface quality and the distribution of light and shadow.
The exhibition seeks to highlight two distinctive approaches to contemporary British making, whilst encouraging a playful dialogue between the varied objects on view.
Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset is open by appointment only, please contact: jacquelinemoore@
Jochen Holz originally trained in Germany before studying glass at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal College of Art, London. After graduating in 2003 Holz established his studio in East London, with a design approach guided by the lampworking process and the flowing forms of hot glass. He has explored many different forms, from large sculptural pieces and neon installations to tableware and jewellery. His main focus is always the technique and the making process, everything is anchored around the possibilities of glass, his skills and material knowledge. Glassblowing can be a fast process, with decisions improvisational and unexpected. Holz enjoys and encourages shifts based on this relationship with the material, requiring him to be fully present during the making and flexible to accidents that may occur during the process.
‘I wanted to get away from the idea that glass is a pristine material, to give it a bit more edge. Working with chance procedure enables you to have a relationship with an object in a way that you couldn’t if it were mass produced. This is where craft comes in’.
While functionality and domesticity are important aspects, Holz strives to give equal importance to the aesthetic and sculptural qualities, giving each piece its own voice. He seeks to emphasise the liquid form of glass, to retain the visibility of the frozen-molten state in the finished pieces, which he sees as the pivotal intersection of design, craft and art. For this exhibition, he will provide an insight into his deep understanding of the handblown technique as well as an adventurous overview of the possibilities of glass. The originality of his work encourages interaction and curiosity, encouraging the viewer to explore the glassware from multiple perspectives.
Holz was awarded the RSA Award in 2000, the Centre Prize at the RCA in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Bombay Sapphire Prize. Following the exhibition he will be presenting work at: ‘Modern Masters’ Handwerkskammer, Munich (March 2020), Salone del Mobile, Milan, with David Collins Studio (April 2020), Summer Show in the Design House at Roche Court, New Art Centre, Wiltshire (July 2020).
Derek Wilson graduated with a Masters in Fine & Applied Arts from the Belfast School of Art in 2007, prior to this he trained as a production potter with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. He now works from his studio in Belfast, regularly lectures, exhibits internationally and runs specialist craft workshops. Initially, Wilson concentrated on sustaining his studio practice by producing porcelain tableware whilst continuing to explore and refine his sculptural forms. This process caused him to become absorbed by the dialogue and points of convergence between the utilitarian and abstract forms. Questioning functionality, he uses the vessel as a means of artistic expression by exploring free and geometric abstraction.
Wilson’s work centres on his continuous exploration of the altered vessel, the fluidity and quality of a line, an angle, a plane. He is concerned with the space the form creates and the interior and exterior. For the exhibition, Wilson has produced a continuation of formal compositions and multiple assemblages within the constructed vessels series, with a development of ceramic surface applications. There will be a combination of vessels and wall pieces in stoneware and porcelain, together with groupings and collections of new domestic and utilitarian pieces.
An unapologetic thrower, Wilson consistently challenges his discipline. Focusing on his approach to making, he combines his minimal aesthetic with accomplished craftsmanship, material knowledge and a propensity to propel modern ceramics through reinterpretation of its form. A search for simplicity of form draws inspiration through a diverse range of sources, including mid-century painters, the Modernist movement, British and Russian Constructivism and the history of the ceramic industry in Europe and Asia.
Wilson will be exhibiting at COLLECT 2020 International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design, Somerset House, London (February 2020).
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