‘Handmade Jersey – A Work in Progress’ opens 3 April in the Barreau Le Maistre Art Gallery at the Jersey Museum. It displays both historical and contemporary art and craft, ranging from a Neolithic pot and 18th century samplers, to a huge Cosplay costume made out of recycled materials. Some of the exhibits are from the Jersey Heritage collections and have never been on display, and some have been lent by Islanders.
There is also a ‘Make Space’, sponsored by the Association of Jersey Charities and Channel Islands Lottery, where visitors to the exhibition can try their hand at various craft activities. For the first two weeks of the exhibition, there will be an opportunity to work with clay and then willow and basketry for the following fortnight. Other crafts will follow.
The exhibition has been curated and designed by Kaspar Wimberley and his partner, Susanne Kudielka. Kaspar said: “From a knitted Battle of Jersey to an Occupation costume made out of tins, Handmade Jersey explores humanity’s instinct to create. We have an appreciation for academic knowledge but a huge amount of knowledge and progress comes through making things. The exhibition is an opportunity for people of all ages, young and old, to celebrate Jersey’s creative talents and also to enjoy taking time out to create something themselves.”
The exhibition also explores the relationship people have with materials, in particular those that are found in Jersey, such as shells and harestail, as well as things that can be found and reused. He said: “Recycling is an important theme to the exhibition at a time when we are generally very wasteful. In the past, people kept reusing things, but our relationship with materials has changed over time.”
The exhibition is open until 30 December and there will be a rolling programme of crafts available for people to try as the year goes on. “The exhibition is intentionally unfinished in the sense that it will evolve over the months that it is open. This is to reflect the fact that one creative idea leads to another. As well as different experts being part of the exhibition, we hope that visitors will start making things that can be displayed,” Kaspar said.
To celebrate the exhibition opening, a beautiful Triumphal Arch has been created out of foliage and fresh flowers at the entrance to the Museum courtyard, and will be in situ for a fortnight. It was kindly created by The Jersey Flower Club and St Martin’s Flower Club, with thanks to John Pallot and Joe Ferreira for supplying foliage.
Any groups or schools interested in using the ‘Make Space’ during the exhibition, either as a one-off or regularly, can contact email@example.com to book a date and time.