An exhibtion by five contemporary artists; Helen Ireland, Kate Scriveners, Finlay Taylor, Jennifer Wright and Jane Langley, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2001
Text by Sue Hubbard
Applied and decorative are terms that have traditionally been given to the domestic arts that have adorned both home and person. It Is as If the notion of its application signified a reduction in the intellectual effort or manual dexterity required, reducing craft to a lower rung in the pecking order of artistic hierarchy. From the renaissance on there emerged a clear division between the fine and the decorative arts, which has largely persisted until now. This exhibition of five contemporary artists not only illustrates their debt to the patterns and designs of the past that have acted as catalysts for much of this work, but also subverts the boundaries between these rather arbitrary categories and creates links between historic artefacts and contemporary creativity.