WOWI: Susie Freeman

WOWI + Susie Freeman

A major retrospective exhibition of Susie Freeman's work opened at Ruthin Craft Centre on January 18 and will run to 29 March 2020. This follows an exhibition of her work with Dr Liz Lee WOWI at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London which ran for 14 months.

Image: WOWI: Susie Freeman

WOWI: Susie Freeman

WOWI + Susie Freeman

Susie established herself as a textile artist of great originality early in her career by constructing a knitted network of pockets using a monofilament thread: into each small transparent pocket she dropped a tiny object before safely sealing them with a further row of knitting, and repeating this to construct the cloth. The trapped artefacts started as scraps of brightly coloured fabric and ribbon but Susie soon moved on to treasured shells, buttons, sequins and other precious finds as well as discarded pistachio shells, spices & dried herbs.

At the same time Susie explored different ways of using and showing these works by fashioning cowls, scarves and jackets. Making these wearable garments became a cottage industry - selling at Chelsea Craft Fair and in galleries - and attracting an admiring, loyal following.

Image: WOWI +: Steve 2007 a scarf containing a year of Steve's medication for diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and arthritis.
Photo by Martin Parr

WOWI: Susie Freeman

WOWI + Susie Freeman

As her children grew up her strong ethical concerns for society found a voice through her friendship with Dr Liz Lee. Together they started to question our increasing dependence on medicines and Susie began to imagine how their ideas could be visualised through her work. Taking the name 'Pharmacopoeia' their collaboration used innovative artistic imagery to question social concerns around health. The success of the first Pharmacopoeia touring exhibition led to a commission from The British Museum for a major permanent installation 'Cradle to the Grave' in the British Museum, which has captured so many people's interest and imagination. Invitations followed from countries as near as Denmark and as far as Brazil with the scale of the work escaping the confines of the tiny pockets. Huge suits of armour and flowing garments, constructed from metallic pill packets, describe the concerns that the work addresses; concerns which become more vital each day

Image: WOWI +: A Packet A Week.
Photo by Chloe Stewart


NONSENSE 3 December 2016 to 29 January 2017

A quirky look at the things artists make.

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland &
Through the Looking-Glass

Julie Arkell    Susanna Bauer    Dawn Dupree    Eleanor Glover    Julia Griffiths-Jones
Julia Jowett    Jo Lawrence    Katharine Morling    Marnie Moyle    Cleo Mussi
David Reekie    Lucian Taylor    Christopher Thompson Royds    Frances Wadsworth-Jones

Image: Susanna Bauer

Is It Wood?

The Influence of Bishopsland

Bishopsland Educational Trust at COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery May 2015

Malcolm Appleby    Ane Christensen    Rebecca de Quin    Charlotte Duckworth
Ndidi Ekubia    Lucie Gledhill    Kathryn Hinton    Marion Kane    Rod Kelly    Nan Nan Liu
Claire Malet    Alistair McCallum    Ryan McClean Theresa Nguyen    Adi Toch

These fifteen silversmiths show the variety of work and skill that Bishopsland promotes through its one year residential Postgraduate Programme.

Image: General view of exhibition with silver by various makers

Catalogue available from Bishopsland Educational Trust

Is It Wood?

Is It Wood?

Ruthin Craft Centre September 2014

A colourful exhibition to challenge traditional ideas about working with wood.

Peter Archer    Fred Baier    Dail Behennah    Roger Bennett    Chatwin & Martin
Nicola Henshaw    Louise Hibbert    Eleanor Lakelin    Lina Peterson    Anthony Roussel
Sophie Smallhorn    Lucy Strachan    Wycliffe Stutchbury    Rupert Williamson

Image: Dail Behennah, hanging charcoal and willow

Masters In Gold And Silver

Masters In Gold & Silver

Bishopsland Educational Trust at COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery May 2014

Malcolm Appleby    Lin Cheung    Ane Christensen    Angela Cork    Rebecca de Quin
Charlotte Duckworth    Ndidi Ekubia    Miriam Hanid    Kathryn Hinton    Marion Kane
Rod Kelly    Nan Nan Liu    Ryan McClean    Jacqueline Mina    Peter Musson
Theresa Nguyen    Jane Short    Ruth Tomlinson

Outstanding contemporary work in silver and gold from Masters, Fellows, Tutors and past students of Bishopsland's residential Post-Graduate Programme for silversmiths and jewellers.

Image: Jacqueline Mina, gold brooch

Catalogue available from Bishopsland Educational Trust

Silver To Collect

Silver To Collect

Bishopsland Educational Trust at COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery 2013

Malcolm Appleby    Ane Christensen    Angela Cork    Sarah Denny    Ndidi Ekubia
Andreas Fabian    Diana Greenwood    Kevin Grey    Alastair Hamer    Rembrandt Jordan
Marion Kane    Rod Kelly    Chris Knight    Momoko Kumai    Theresa Nguyen
Clare Ransom    Jane Short    Simone ten Hompel    Max Warren

Since 1980 the P&O Makower Trust has collaborated with the V&A Museum, the Crafts Council Collection, the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff and the Ashmoleon Museum to commission a piece of contemporary silver for their collections. To celebrate their twentieth anniversary I invited this group of leading silversmiths to show a new piece together with a miniature of their original commission: work that demonstrates the variety of imagination, technique and innovation that has invigorated the field.

Image: General view of silver by various makers

Catalogue available from Bishopsland Educational Trust

Growth Talent

Growing Talent

Goldsmiths' Hall, The Goldsmiths' Company 2012
Jewellers and silversmiths nurtured by the Goldsmiths' Company from 2000-2012

In 2012 Goldsmiths' Fair celebrated 30 years of supporting the skills and artistic talents of the country's most creative contemporary jewellers and silversmiths. In 2000 the Graduate Bursary Scheme was introduced to support a few selected young graduates as they started their careers. The exhibition Growing Talent was a chance to show what has happened to these graduates who responded to an invitation to show two pieces of work: "something old", a piece of work from their first Fair, alongside "something new", a piece made especially for this exhibition.

Image: Sarah Stafford 18ct gold & diamond earrings

Catalogue available from The Goldsmiths' Company with a foreword by The Lord Sutherland of Houndswood an essay by Mary La Trobe-Bateman and contributions from each exhibitor.



Ruthin Craft Centre tour, 2010

This exhibition by thirteen contemporary makers invited a response – perhaps a smile of surprise, perhaps a recognition of charm, sometimes a wry acknowledgment. The response was not necessarily immediate – many of the pieces needed time to be looked at: they invited attention to their detail and an interpretation of their message.

Abbott and Ellwood    Julie Arkell    Janet Bolton     Lucy Casson    Michael Flynn
Eleanor Glover    Jo Lawrence    Lindsey Mann    Linda Miller    Craig Mitchell
Deirdre Nelson    Robert Race    Freddie Robins

Image: Smile letters: Eleanor Glover
‘It’s all because of Stanley´, Julie Arkell


Age of Experience

Ruthin Craft Centre tour, 2009

The Ruthin Craft Centre’s re-opening exhibition showed a great selection of crafts by fifteen long established leading British makers; Fred Baier, Svend Bayer, Gordon Baldwin, Richard La Trobe- Bateman, Caroline Broadhead, Peter Collingwood, David Drew, Elizabeth Fritsch, Walter Keeler, Annette Meech, Mary Restieaux, Michael Rowe, Richard Slee, David Watkins, and Christopher Williams – all now ‘seniors’.

The selection demonstrated the high quality and craftsmanship of established makers. The exhibition was also a testament to the fact that age doesn’t matter when the works reflect skill and imagination.

Image: Peter Collingwood macrogauze hanging


Creation II

The Goldsmiths’ Company, 2009

The Summer exhibition held at Goldsmiths' Hall focused on the creative talents of an elite group of 12 distinguished artist-jewellers. The DVD that accompanies the catalogue (Creation II: An Insight into the Mind of the Modern Artist-Jeweller London, The Goldsmiths' Company, 2009, 34pp., 28 colour illus.) features short films of ten of the exhibiting jewellers made by students from Goldsmiths' College (London), the International Film School (University of Wales) and Edinburgh College of Art under the direction of Paul Watson, Executive Producer and Mentor, Independent documentary film maker, BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.

Image: Andrew Lamb, 18ct gold wire bangle


Colour in Weave

Stroud International Textile Festival, 2008

An exhibition emphasising the sheer joy of colour in woven textiles, through three stunning artists: Mary Restieaux, Ptolemy Mann and Preeti Gilani.

All are renowned for their sense of colour and individual interpretations of contemporary weaving.

Image: Ptolemy Mann Ikat woven hangings