Graduate work for sale
This May, Sotheby's London will sponsor an exhibition/auction of selected works from 2009 Design Academy Eindhoven graduates. Prices range from €100 to €10,000, with all profits going back to the designers.
Janice Blackburn, a curator of contemporary art and design, who has followed the progress of many Design Academy Eindhoven graduates was involved with the selection alongside Anne Mieke Eggenkamp (Chairwoman Executive Board Design Academy Eindhoven). Blackburn tells us how it happened.
"I spoke to the director (Anne Mieke Eggenkamp) last April during the Milan Furniture Fair when Eindhoven were exhibiting and asked if they would like to have an exhibition at Sotheby’s where I am a guest curator. I then visited the graduate show last October in Eindhoven and spent time talking and selecting. It’s been a long and thoughtful process on both sides. I want to show a range of work that best describes Eindhoven’s innovative ethos."
Were there any particular themes/trends that you noticed amongst the work of the 2009 graduates? "I suppose the environment, sustainability and a social conscience but that’s always been Eindhoven’s approach. They also have a creative approach to practicality and are not scared to experiment."
Stand out pieces for Blackburn included both textiles and ceramics. However, she was keen to stress that she wanted ‘a selection of different skills and approaches to represent the best of Eindhoven rather than individuals. It has to work as a whole.’
Amongst the graduate work is the Minimal Dress series by Digna Kosse that questions the idea of fast-fashion. Kosse begins with a quote from 18th century Irish writer Richard Steele. 'May I ask how many costumes she wears out each year?’ ‘My dear sir, the clothing of a lady does not wear out through her wearing of it, but through her being seen in it.' Kosse explains, "Our clothes are more quickly discarded as a result of changing fashion than because of wear and tear. The consumption of material by the clothing industry is gigantic as a result."
Kosse’s range of fifteen dresses are mere wisps of threads that mimic the outline of real clothes, yet remain fashion pieces in their own right. The dresses are made from a variety of yarns, such as cotton, silk, wool, viscose, bamboo and banana leaf abaca and are knitted, braided, woven, twisted, knotted or twined.
From Fable to Table by Amélie Onzon explores how the developed world has distanced itself from the realities of eating meat. “Our relationship to animals is contradictory," says Onzon. "We disassociate the living creature from the meat. The animal is abstracted and becomes a functional material. From Fable To Table is a series of hybrid objects that confront us with a choice: nurturing an animal or killing it in order to eat it to fulfill our natural instinct."
Onzon chose to look at the production of foie gras using ducks. The (Force) Feeder in cherry wood, copper and porcelain, can function as a benign feeder for the duck, or it can be used as a force-feeding stool. Likewise, the (Blood) Bath can act as a welcome pond and shower for the duck, or more sinisterly, as a copper hook on which to suspend the bird upside down in order to drain away the blood into the glazed ceramic bath.
Patrick van Maris, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Europe says, “Sotheby’s is privileged to be collaborating in this exciting project which will broaden the international reputation of Design Academy Eindhoven, one of the premier design schools of the world. We are very much looking forward to having our galleries, which regularly display the creativity of the past and present, transformed by the next generation of design talent.”
At the same time as the Design Academy Eindhoven exhibition/auction, Blackburn has organised a exhibition to launch the limited edition collection of sculptural glass by Dutch designers Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk who were introduced to the Murano-based producer Adriano Berengo by Blackburn herself.
The viewing and sale takes place at Sotheby’s, London 13-18 May 2010.
Main image and image 1: Minimal Dress by Digna Kosse, photography: Lisa Klappe
Image 2: Table to Fable by Amélie Onzon, photography: Rene van der Hulst
Image 3: Badkast by Anna van der Lei, photography: Rene van der Hulst
Image 4: Inflatable Void by Youri Treffers, photography: Rene van der Hulst
Image 5: Lamp (work in progress) by Kiki van Eijk, developed in collaboration with 'Venice Projects' to be shown at the Sotheby’s Exhibition 'Glass Skin', photography: Studio Kiki van Eijk
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