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The New Art of Making - The Gallery at Foyles

Exhibition preview

THE NEW Art of Making, a free exhibition which explores digital craftsmanship, curated by Futurecity in partnership with Price & Myers’ Geometrics, will be on display in The Gallery at Foyles from December 11, 2015 until February 7, 2016.

How we build our world is changing. A revolution is underway in making and building art and architecture, with technology now allowing us to create and make with an unprecedented freedom.

At the centre of this change is the ‘designer-maker’; a cross-disciplinary master craftsman, who fuses sophisticated digital design tools and computerised fabrication with industrial, architectural and engineering expertise to define new ways of working with traditional materials – wood, stone, steel and glass.

This emerging practice is digital craftsmanship – a radical new practice of rendering sculptural form, blurring the line between artist, designer and maker. It is an approach pioneered by Price & Myers’ Geometrics team, and supported by Futurecity through an innovative approach to commissioning art in the public realm.

The New Art Of Making exhibition, realised by Futurecity and Price & Myers Geometrics, charts the evolution of digital creativity and fabrication over a sequence of recent collaborations featuring key groundbreaking projects and major sculptural commissions.

Advances in computer-controlled fabrication have closed the gap between the drawing board and the real world. The development of advanced digital design and production techniques means that instead of constructing our buildings, bridges and sculptures from a set of pre-defined pieces – bricks, girders, windows – we can now manufacture our own lego® kit for each and every project.

By designing each piece specifically to the project requirements, we can minimize wasteful mass production and create almost any shape imaginable. Buildings become sculpture, and sculpture is set free to explore form at the limits of imagination.

Located at the point where architecture, engineering and fabrication converge with digital technology, Price & Myers Geometrics’ team of specialist engineers and architects exemplify this new model of ‘digital craftsmanship’. Together with visionary placemaking agency Futurecity, and working alongside pioneering artists and architects, the practice has delivered a diverse range of cutting-edge sculptures and architectural commissions across the capital and farther afield.

The New Art Of Making exhibition explores the theme of digital craftsmanship via a series of projects which range in scale from a chair arch in High Wycombe to a 12m aluminium vertical shell artwork, a stainless steel bridge in Bristol and a new pier building at Southend.

It culminates with the digital craftsmanship embodied within the recently completed Slipstream sculpture by Richard Wilson (RA), which traces the motion of a stunt plane as it joyfully cartwheels across 78 metres of space through the new Terminal 2 : The Queen’s Terminal at Heathrow Airport.

Created using techniques from fields as diverse as film animation, architecture, computer programming and – fittingly – aerodynamics and aerospace, Slipstream is formed by a vast kit of parts comprising over 45,000 unique pieces and 200,000 rivets; both a conscious echo and celebration of the golden era in aviation design.

A digitally fabricated 1:18 scale facsimile of Slipstream forms the centrepiece of the exhibition, sitting alongside digital content and development models charting its journey from the take-off of an idea to its triumphant landing in the immense space of the terminal building.

Using text, diagrams and models, the interpretative materials describe the featured projects from genesis to completion. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the themes of the exhibition by assembling their own models from digitally fabricated interlocking components.

The New Art Of Making exhibition gives a fascinating insight into an era of momentous change for the way we build, sculpt and curate the world around us.

For more information about The Gallery at Foyles, visit futurecity.co.uk/gallery-at-foyles/.

Admission: Free.

Times: Monday – Saturday, 9.30am – 9pm; Sundays, 11.30am – 6pm (11.30am – 12 noon browsing only).

The Gallery at Foyles, Level 5, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0LA