New Truth to Materials: Wood
8 September 2017 - 1 January 2018
A fascinating exploration into our emotional response to wood – one of the most versatile natural materials – through a diverse and eclectic group of contemporary and traditional artists, designers and craftsmen from the last hundred years, including Graham Sutherland, Sebastian Cox, Anna Maria Pacheco and Forest & Found.
New Truth to Materials: Wood is the first in a series of multi-disciplinary exhibitions at Ditchling that consider how we respond and relate to materials and objects, addressing how artists, craftspeople and designers harness our emotional engagement with different materials and consequently exploit, manipulate and reinforce this in their work. Ditchling is a natural home for this exploratory adventure; a carpenter’s workshop was central to the Catholic craftsman’s guild and artists such as David Jones spent time here whilst also learning their other crafts. The 1920s and 30s wood-engraving revival was also led by Eric Gill and his colleagues in the village.
The term ‘truth to materials’ is familiar to the arts and crafts world: post-industrial revolution craftspeople were keen to maintain the integrity of the materials they used by preserving and emphasising their original qualities. The show takes a fresh look at this tenet and explores how both traditional and contemporary artists and craftspeople either challenge or adhere to it.
As part of the exhibition the museum will play host to a British Council international artist in residence in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute. Polish artist Anna Bera founded The Whole Elements design studio and Dzikie Dzieci (Wild Children) after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań; her work draws inspiration from research on the human relationship with nature in a biological, cultural and spiritual context. Anna will be based at the museum for 4 weeks during the exhibition creating work inspired by her residency in our Clore Learning Space, and will also contribute to our workshops and events programme.