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The Shape of Things Project's One Day Symposium: Disruptive Difference – Transnational craft dialogues

17th February 2012 10am – 5pm

Disruptive Difference - Transnational Craft Dialogues
School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
17th February 2012 10am – 5pm

Free – limited places

A one day symposium entitled Disruptive Difference – Transnational craft dialogues will explore how cultural and geographical dis/location is changing craft practice, and how notions of national and cultural identity are contributing to experiences of craft nationally and internationally. The free event will take place at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester on 17th February, 2012 with contributions from distinguished speakers such as Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (The Independent, Sky News), Dr. Janet Marstine (School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester), Professor of Design History and Curating Catherine McDermott (Kingston University), Professor Steve Dixon (Craft Research Centre, Manchester School of Art) and Exhibitions Manager Andy Horn (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery).

The symposium will provide delegates with an opportunity to debate issues such as how radical craft interventions are challenging museums to rethink their collections; how artists working in contemporary craft across the world are contesting the dominant cultural paradigms; how international makers who come to the U.K. to study are making a lasting impact on the UK craft ecology – and conversely how culturally diverse makers from the UK are making an impact on international craft markets.

Contributors to Disruptive Difference will include academics, artists, curators, and international post-graduate students. The event will be of interest to design and curatorial students, curators of contemporary craft, policy makers, and artists whose practice explores issues of cultural identity in a local and global context.

Disruptive Difference will coincide with an exhibition of new work by British Taiwanese silversmith Chien-Wei Chang at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester from 11 February to 25 March 2012. One of the shape of things’ commissions, this has been a momentous journey for Chien-Wei, encouraging him to question the boundaries between art and society, taking him on a journey in search of a shared humanity across cultures as well as a journey of his own creative destiny.

A second the shape of things exhibition Negotiations: Maggie Scott will take place at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery between 7 April and 20 May 2012 and will present new work by UK-based textile artist Maggie Scott. Through her large-scale textile and installation works Maggie seeks to open a dialogue on the subject of British identity and representation.

Those attending the symposium will be invited to the Private View of Chien-Wei Chang’s exhibition on the evening of 17 February at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester where he will be in conversation with writer and curator Frances Lord.

The symposium has been organised by the shape of things in partnership with the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester and the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester.

The Symposium is free and early advanced booking is recommended. Limited number of travel bursaries for artists available. Tickets can be booked via EventBrite: http://disruptivedifference.eventbrite.com/


the shape of things is a national craft initiative funded by Arts Council England which is commissioning contemporary crafts in Museum and Art Gallery settings, and helping to develop audiences and markets for contemporary craft that are culturally diverse and representative. For more details about the shape of things visit www.theshapeofthings.org.uk

This symposium is one of a number of events which the shape of things has organised over the last two years which contribute to a debate about what distinctive contribution artists make to influence or reflect national identity, which explore what connects Britain with global cultures, and which reference the intercultural nature of British society.

The event takes place in partnership with the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies, and New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester.

Visit theshapeofthings.org.uk/?id=99