MADE NORTH gallery has opened in Sheffield’s creative industries quarter. The gallery, based at Yorkshire Artspace, is a project of Culture North and provides a creative platform that actively encourages and promotes understanding of contemporary northern design and craft.The MADE NORTH Gallery presents new and experimental work by established and emerging northern designer/makers for exhibition and sale.
The gallery will introduce and promote individual designer/makers and their work to a wider audience via a range of exhibitions and events. MADE NORTH will also present a series of talks throughout the year and encourage dialogue and debate around design and contemporary craft through the annual MADE NORTH Conference. The first was held at FACT in Liverpool in 2012, and Sheffield is the home of the 2013 conference. Please visit www.madenorth.co.uk for further information. The MADE NORTH Conference was funded by the Design Council, watch a video of the event here www.vimeo.com/39019663
Gallery curator and Director of Culture North Patrick Murphy said: “The need for a gallery that promotes the north and its designer/makers is essential in today’s culture.
“A sense of place and provenance is becoming increasingly important in a world fast losing regional individuality in the face of globalisation. Instead of each city or region looking the same we want to celebrate difference; instead of high volume and low costs using oversees manufacturing, we want to see a return to responsible ‘local’ manufacturing and fair pricing that rewards the design/makers, encourages innovation and ideas and in turn supports the northern economy.”
The Gallery management hope that the difficult economic times could provide a turning point for the northern economy which is known for invention and originality under pressure, and that a return to small scale manufacturing by designer/makers continues to gather momentum. The north of England has a long heritage in manufacturing and making from glass, textiles and steel plus it has produced creative individuals who are amongst the most innovative and respected the world has seen. Artists and innovators such as Henry Moore, Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hirst, Mike Leigh, Danny Boyle, David Hockney and Peter Saville, to name just a few, illustrate the wealth of talent that the north produces.
Patrick Murphy added: “The challenge now is for the north to refocus its expertise and
identity when it comes to ‘making’, embracing high levels of craftmanship and building a localised network that links designer/makers with local manufacturers. What MADE NORTH is trying to explore is creating a market for northern design. Whether furniture, ceramics, textiles and more – we want create a hunger and appetite for northern designer/makers both in the north and beyond. Northern creativity is fantastic and should be exported around the world.”
The MADE NORTH Gallery is a space that promotes contemporary designer/makers who are producing work now and it provides a window into design and making that allows the public to see of a range of products and makers that they wouldn’t normally be able to because of the dominance of giant brands such as IKEA. Patrick Murphy says “Just as people are now concerned with where their food was grown and produced, we want to change buying habits when it comes to furniture and design, we should all think about the positive local economic impact of buying a table that was designed and made within driving distance instead of buying one that was designed in Sweden and manufactured in Turkey.”
The Gallery opens with two exhibitions:
Lazerian/Six, charts the pioneering work of a creative practice that began in 2006, set
up by Liam Hopkins, a Manchester born designer-maker. Lazerian are based in an ex-
hat factory in Manchester, the practice is focused on the creation of functional objects
through playful investigation of materials and processes, and seeks to imbue objects
with a bit of soul. The practice works on a variety of projects, including furniture,
interiors and objects. Their showcase at MADE NORTH will feature a range of new
work and accessories alongside furniture and lighting designs plus the launch of a new ceramics range.
The centrepiece of the Lazerian exhibition is a 3mtr x 3mtr Carbon Fibre Chandelier (picture supplied) that perfectly illustrates the new confidence and innovation in contemporary northern making and design.
Launchpad: Daniel Schofield
We are also be introducing the MADE NORTH LaunchPad. LaunchPad presents
the work of a range of emerging designer/makers from across the north of England.
LaunchPad offers an opportunity to exhibit new works, prototypes and ideas, allowing
audience engagement and feedback. This first LaunchPad will feature the work of
Sheffield graduate designer Daniel Schofield.