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CRAFTING A DIFFERENCE VIRTUAL VISIT ON NOW!

CRAFTING A DIFFERENCE VIRTUAL VISIT ON NOW!

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SoShiro presents art and design objects created in collaboration with artists and craftspeople from all over the world - giving you a rare chance to own pieces that represent the best of human heritage

Crafting a Difference

Five London-based contemporary craft and visual arts galleries have forged an unprecedented relationship to bring together an ambitiously diverse selection of work from January 18th, 2021.

Crafting a Difference at SoShiro is a physical exhibition of innovative craftsmanship housed in a beautiful Marylebone townhouse. A virtual version of the exhibition will be launched on the 18th January and will run until the 2nd April. ‘In-person’ exhibit appointments at SoShiro will be available once government guidelines allow. To view and purchase please visit: soshiro.co

Five London-based contemporary craft and visual arts galleries have forged an unprecedented relationship to bring together an ambitiously diverse selection of work in early 2021. ‘Crafting a Difference’ at SoShiro gallery, is a positively defiant act of coming together at a time when so many have been forced apart.

The exhibition is the brainchild of curator Brian Kennedy: “The craft sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, yet it’s also been a very creative time for many makers, artists and gallerists. For ‘Crafting a Difference’, not only do we have makers from Kenya, France, Spain, Japan, Argentina, China, UK, USA, Italy, Ireland, Egypt, Brazil, Scandinavia, Chile, Korea, Iceland, Vietnam, but a wide mix of materials and methods are being explored. Our intention is clear: to illustrate that now, more than ever, the process of creation, is undeniably a deep-rooted, unifying force.”

Work in ceramics, wood, glass, metals, textiles, and paper by over seventy-five artists will be exhibited across four floors of the Georgian townhouse, that is SoShiro. The lower  floors feature work in the context of a gallery space, whereas the top two floors display pieces in the context of a residential interior.

“It’s incredibly exciting to host the debut of ‘Crafting A Difference’ at SoShiro and to welcome visitors in person to our space” says SoShiro founder Shiro Muchiri. “With all eyes on London during the London Art Fair and Collect, this show brings together over 200 objects from across the globe, focusing on the beauty of making and all the varied elements intrinsic to work created by hand.”

 

1. Cavaliero Finn has built up an exceptional reputation for showcasing the finest works from emerging and established artists and makers.

Frances Priest (Scotland)

 

Ikuko Iwamoto (England)

 

 

2. jaggedart represents artists working in painting, photography, works on paper and threedimensional pieces. There is a particular emphasis on the unusual and delicate use of materials.

Max Brainbridge (England)

 

Kazuhito Takadoi (Japan)

 

 

3. MADEINBRITALY showcases contemporary applied arts and collectible design, aimed at reviving the connection between Italy and the UK.

Andrea Salvatori (Italy)

 

Bottega Vignoli (Italy)

 

 

4. Ting-Ying Gallery stimulates ongoing dialogues between East and West, tradition and innovation, function, and aesthetics.

Helen O’Shea (Ireland)

 

Liang Wanying (China)

 

 

5. Vessel Gallery is a long-established source for all those who appreciate contemporary art-glass, sculpture, and decorative lighting.

Nina Casson McGarva (France)

 

Vanessa Hogge (England)

 

 

Brian Kennedy is an independent curator working predominantly in the craft and applied arts. His exhibitions have been held in Dublin, New York, Geneva, Basel, Milan, and London.

Shiro Muchiri launched her design career in Nairobi before practising interior architecture in Milan and London. While working on her own furniture and accessories collections she opened SoShiro, in Marylebone, showcasing cross cultural exploratory work.

Crafting A Difference coincides with the London Art Fair (18th January – 7th February) and Collect (26th February – 2nd April). All 5 galleries are taking part in both the London Art Fair and Collect’s digital shows.

 

Crafting a Difference at SoShiro is a physical exhibition of innovative craftsmanship housed in a beautiful Marylebone townhouse. A virtual version of the exhibition will be launched on 18th January and will run until 2nd April. ‘In-person’ exhibit appointments at SoShiro will be available once government guidelines allow. To view and purchase please visit: soshiro.co

For more information, please visit www.craftingadifference.com.

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Ainu

A unique collaboration between award-winning artist and sculptor Toru Kaizawa and SoShiro that celebrates the natural beauty of a special Ainu craft.

The relationship between the Ainu people and their forests and nature is sacred. The sculptors commune with the wood they work on and pay homage to the trees from which they get their wood.

This unique connection is beautifully illustrated by the artist and sculptor, Toru Kaizawa, who transformed an ancient piece of sacred wood, known as a ‘Jin Dai Boku’, into the symbol of a hatching turtle, a representation of the emerging Ainu. The resulting sculpture is currently displayed at the British Museum. For the Ainu, wood is considered an extraordinary material, and as such is treated with special care. Each live tree is subject to certain rituals that inform the sensitive harvesting of bark to make garments and other ornaments. Aside from the trees, the forest ecosystem and its inhabitants provide inspiration to the Ainu people. Once such creature is the Blakiston’s Fish Owl, an animal they believe to be their protector.

This symbiosis between the Ainu and nature is timeless – a tradition that we celebrate with our eponymous Ainu collection. Inspired by the work of Toru Kaizawa, our collaboration seeks to shine a light on the fragility of their way of life and dedication to their craft. The furniture series features a wooden handle beautifully carved by Ainu artisans, with a motif of the Blakiston’s Fish Owl eyes. This Ainu symbol of protection motif designed by Mamoru Kaizawa brings to our living spaces the epic story of their community. The motif is echoed in the tableware and linens, with the playful abstract of the Fish Owl making an appearance in some of the delicate ceramic accessories.

We work with artisan ceramic workshops from the Veneto region of Italy. Veneto is renowned for it’s rich heritage in ceramic and porcelain craftsmanship. The selection of clay for our products is carefully done by these knowledgeable craftsmen.

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Pok

The Pok collection celebrates the artistry of hand-crafted beadwork within the Pokot community. Belonging to North West Kenya, the Pok collection is inspired by the Pokot women who make complex and vibrant beadwork expressing their artistic abilities, combining their artistic cultural heritage with contemporary design.

The Pok collection celebrates the artistry of beading within the Pokot community. Belonging to North West Kenya, the Pok collection is inspired by the Pokot women who make complex and vibrant beadwork expressing their artistic abilities as well as preserving their cultural artistic heritage.

Our Pok collection furniture and accessories evoke the form, splendour and intricacy of the beaded ornaments created by the Pokot women with the addition of a modern twist!

We have introduced new materials in the form of semi-precious stones and colourful marble gems which have been carefully integrated into the beautifully crafted Pok collection pieces. Celebrating heritage arts and designing for a contemporary lifestyle.

SoShiro is showcasing the artistry of beading in collaboration with Zinj workshop, bringing this artistry to you in a whole new way! The beadwork is done on fine Italian nubuck leather panels that are then upholstered onto a beautifully engineered piece of furniture built in Venice – The Butler.

Zinj workshop makes beautiful beaded accessories embellished with a ‘contemporary take’ on traditional East African beadwork. Every piece is meticulously beaded and stitched by hand to a very high technical standard.

The workshop creates the patterns featuring different themes in their beadwork, for example, there is a theme called the ‘Origins’ that is inspired by ancient Africa, cave dwelling, rock art and the elemental artefacts of ancient times: bone, clay, hide, shells, rock, stone and fire.

Zinj – a name used by Herodotus to describe the ancient Swahili coast from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique – is the inspiration for this unusual little workshop, in the tiny, rural village of Takaungu, overlooking the Indian Ocean, where a small group of local beadwork artists create our beaded leather panels.

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