New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Rising Stars is a platform for some of the most exciting new crafts by emerging makers in crafts, design and applied arts. This curated, selling exhibition will be showcased at the New Ashgate Gallery and also include a programme of makers' professional development events and a £500 prize. The participants are graduating students, recent graduates or at a pivotal moment in their early career due to changed circumstances.
Many of the graduating makers are at cross roads: they have a full portfolio of fabulous ideas, but are yet to establish their business skills and a network of collectors. Rising Stars offers just the right platform, and for many, it is a starting point for an exceptional career. Rising Stars is an opportunity for both makers as well as art collectors who wish to support and collect work by future stars.
Following an open call with 97 applications, 26 makers of exceptional talent were selected by a panel of craft experts, Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery), Sharon Ting (University for the Creative Arts) and Debra Allman (UCA). They are Darren Ball, Sandy Buchanan, Niamh Duddy, Jack Durling, Fran Fell, Beth Gates, Rhiannon Gwyn, Faye Hall, Abeer Kayani, Joshua Kerley, Antigone Lentzos, Rebecca Oldfield, Archana Pathak, Rebecca Perry, Laura Plant, Irina Prolygina, Jane Sarre, Jane Sedgwick, Ralph Shuttleworth, Hannah Staber, Olivia Taylor, Hermione Thomson, Nikole Tursi, Claire Walton and Katie Watson.
Rising Stars is organised by the New Ashgate Gallery and supported by the Billmeir Charitable Trust. We work in partnership with the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.
53 x 53 cms
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Darren's embroidery reflects his love of textiles and the visual qualities present in fabric and thread. He uses applique and free machine embroidery to illustrate personal narratives or ideas, inspired by memorabilia or his collection of vintage 'Stitchcraft' knitting and embroidery magazines. 'Stitchcraft' photographs or drawings provide the figurative element in his work and ideas evolve from personal experiences, film, textile history or a chance find. Darren works with fabrics he has collected over many years because of their specific characteristics, and this adds a uniqueness and 'slowness' to the handmade production of each piece. He carefully selects each fabric for its colour, surface and possible connotations as well as its physical quality and response to cutting, layering and sewing. He may include pieces of found domestic embroidery, vintage or knitted fabrics to increase the variety of surface and to reference domestic work.
Darren aims to draw and paint with textiles, and the mark making is achieved through sewing, contrasting surface qualities and embellishment. Stylistically he is influenced by fashion drawing and its economical use of line, its relationship to free embroidery and its relevance to the 'Stitchcraft' magazines. He is particularly inspired by the illustrations of Carl Erickson, Christian Berard and Rene Gruau. The scale of his current work reflects the domestic nature of the magazines adding both intimacy and an appropriateness for domestic interiors.
Darren is based in Surrey.