8 Jul - 9 Sep 2023

Wed – Sat, 10 am – 1 pm and 2 – 4 pm

Make, Somerset


Having worked from their studios and workshops in London for more than 30 years, artist-makers Helen Carnac and David Gates relocated their home and working lives to rural Somerset in the winter of 2020. Carnac and Gates gather source material and visual imagery while they walk the surrounding landscapes. Both are drawn to human interventions in the landscapeagricultural structures, infrastructure, as well as the folds and textures of worked land. Their work is grounded in observation, attuned to and embedded in places and topographies. Often working from the same sources, the way they each interpret this information differs once back in the studio.

View more

The Makers

Helen Carnac
Helen Carnac is an artist, maker and curator who lives and works in Somerset, UK. Setting up her studio in the early 1990’s, Carnac develops projects using methodologies that are rooted in an acute awareness of physical location, place and working practices. Helen has worked extensively in the UK, Europe and US. Her work explores the explicit connections between material, process and maker. Carnac has worked with many materials in numerous contexts, but my area of expertise is the combination of vitreous enamel on metal, with an interest in how one material might be known through another. Through a particular knowledge of metal, her approach has been to test and explore other materials and processes. Understanding the attributes of a material; density, malleability, patina, corrosion, tensile strength and oxidisation allows Carnac to test the attributes of another. She is interested in developing new ways in which materials coexist and support each other and how those materials change together over time in different environments.

Carnac’s recent projects include: Visiting artist, Centre for Print Research, UWE, Bristol, UK; (2022 – 2023); Artist-in-residence, UCL Public Art and Institute of Making, London, UK (2019); Side by Side residency, Siobhan Davies Dance, London, UK (2012).

Her previous exhibitions include, Holding Space: Contemporary Enamel Vessels, Springfield Museum, Missouri MO (2023); Helen Carnac, David Gates and Andrew McKenzie, Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK (2023); Like Paper, Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montreal, Canada (2022); Impertinente, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Limoges, Limoges, France (2022); In Dialogue, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK (2019); Blaze – International Contemporary Enamel Art Exhibition, Taiwan (2018); Meister der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2017); UK Pavilion, 10th Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea with the Crafts Council and British Council, UK (2017); Edge and Shore, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2015 – 2016); Dovecot, Edinburgh, UK (2015 – 2016); Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2015 – 2016); Drawing, Permanence and Place, Kunstverein, Netherlands, Coburg, Germany and touring (2012); The Tool at Hand, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI and touring (2011 – 2012).

Her work is held in several collections including: Enamel Art Foundation, Los Angeles CA; Rotasa Foundation, Redwood City CA; Racine Art Museum (RAM), Racine WI; and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada.

David Gates
David Gates designs and makes ‘striking pieces of three-dimensional art, inspired by, but not delimited by the idea of cabinet furniture.’—Emma Crichton Miller, Crafts Magazine (2017). Gates combines studio workwith formal research and holds a PhD from King’s College London having researched the use of talk in makers’ practices. He recently moved to rural Somerset from his birth city, London, to integrate more fully working and living. Gates’ work is centrally concerned with how furniture, as a contextually entwined sculptural entity, is connected to the objects it contains and the space it is situated in. His recurring motif is the collecting cabinet and the cabinet of curiosities. Gates’ work has a relationship with agricultural and industrial architecture. Once finding these forms and structures along stretches of the River Thames, and its estuarine landscape, Gates’ work is finding new but analogous alignments and resonances with the silos, barns, sheds and pylons of his new working context; an approach presaged with the work made for ‘David Gates: In Dialogue’ at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset (2019).

Gates was awarded BA (Hons) in Three-Dimensional Design and Furniture from Ravensbourne College of Art, London, UK, and obtained a PhD from King’s College London, UK (2017) with his thesis, ‘The Makers’Tongue: Small Stories of Positioning and Performance in the Situated Discourses of Contemporary Crafts Practitioners’. Gates’ work is exhibited and collected internationally. He received a Gold Award at the Cheongju Biennale, South Korea (2015) and was a winner of the Jerwood Contemporary Makers programme, London, UK (2010). Gates’ work is held by the Nasjonelmuseet, Oslo, Norway and UK Crafts Council.

His selected exhibitions include: M2 Artists, ASC Gallery, London, UK (2022); Sensing Place, Three Responses: Andrew MacKenzie, Helen Carnac and David Gates, Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK (2023); Taste Contemporary, Odd and Even: A Collection, Maison Louis Carre, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France, (2021); Cheongju Biennale, South Korea with The British Council (2017); The Tool at Hand, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI (2012). Gates’ published writings also include: ‘From In Our Houses to The Tool at Hand: Breaching Normal Procedural Conditions in Studio Furniture Making’, Craftwork as Problem Solving, Routledge, (2016), pp. 115 – 132; ‘History in the Making: The Use of Talk in Interdisciplinary Contemporary Craft Collaborative Practice’, Oral History in The Visual Arts, Bloomsbury (2013), pp. 55 – 66; The Journal of Modern Craft, Volume 5, Issue 3 (October 2012), pp. 351 – 354; The Journal of Craft Research, Volume 2, (April 2011), pp. 161 – 162.

Image: Installation view, ‘Affinities’, featuring an image by Catherine Garcia, Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2023. Photo: Dave Watts

Installation views

Current Exhibitions