Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase: Dulwich

Installation of the art works, artisans, artists and visitors to the Dulwich Festival, May 2023 for Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Blue Patch exhibits at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. Photo In The Right Light photography

Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase marks the 30th birthday of the Dulwich Festival

Blue Patch’s Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase proved a big hit for the Dulwich Festival with an emphasis on UK Sustainable crafts, painting, photography and sculpture.

Blue Patch's crowded exhibition Sustainable Arts and Crafts showcase at Dulwich Festival 2023. Dulwich Picture Gallery
Photo In The Right Light photography

We brought together some of the UK’s finest artists, crafters and designers in an exhibition which ran across the weekend of May 13-14 2023. Held at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (link), our show was busy from start to finish, in true festival spirit. Blue Patch was part of the ‘Artists Open House’ event.

The Windsor Rocker and Frame by Katie Walker on display at Dulwich picture gallery, part of the Dulwich Festival 2023, Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts showcase
Windsor Rocker in front of Still Breathing (ii), both works by Katie Walker

Visitors could experience the broad range of talents within Blue Patch’s membership and see Dulwich Picture Gallery’s outstanding collection which includes masterpieces such as Poussin’s ‘The Nurture of Jupiter’ and Rembrandt’s ‘Girl at a Window’.

As if this wasn’t enough, there is Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism too. An unmissable show according to everyone who’s seen it! Runs to Sept 10th 2023).

Our event marked the celebration of the 30th year of the Dulwich Festival and as such we were part of a far larger enterprise, with events across several post codes, varying from ‘artists at home’ to art galleries, studios and many other cultural entertainments.

Angela Cole

William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement

The title of the exhibition ‘Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase’ references thinkers William Morris* and John Ruskin, who believed that the divisions between the Arts & Crafts were wrong. They viewed the small workshops and artisan skills as significant as any art form. The collective movement Morris and Ruskin championed finds an echo in Blue Patch, also a collective, for UK and Irish businesses that value and journey towards being more sustainable in their materials and methods.

Caroline Blake

The crafts in the exhibition backs up this view as, for instance, in the work by Angela Cole, poised perfectly between art & crafts, she uses traditional methods in surprising new ways to create objects that is simultaneously art and craft.

‘Wires’ Oliver Gosling

The craft of making a painting is demonstrated too; Oliver Gosling, Carolyn Blake and Janet Tod’s works are effortlessly carried out with a confidence and fluency underpinned by lives dedicated to the practice of painting.

Table with handmade sustainable Dolls and artisan doll maker Mopsa at Dulwich Picture Gallery Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase
Mopsa and her handmade Dalston Dolls. Photo In The Right Light photography

Blue Patch Sustainability Awards

On Saturday we took time out to toast the winners of the 2022 Blue Patch Sustainability Awards, Edward Blumer Natural Paint, Mr Bug and eco-action games were duly recognised. The Awards closed in December 2022 and were judged this spring. Meet the judges.

Celebrating Sustainable Business in the UK

Edward Bulmer speaking at the Blue Patch sustainability Awards at  Dulwich Picture gallery, 2023 during the Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase
Left to right, Rachel (ROCWORX), Abdollah Nafisi, Edward and Emma Bulmer (winner Heritage Award), Jack and Conal from Mr Bug (winner Environment Award). Photo In The Right Light photography

Meet the exhibitors – how to get in touch!

members at Dulwich festival, pose for Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase at Dulwich Picture Gallery

If you would like to contact any of the exhibitors, all you need to is click the links in this text and land on their Blue Patch micro-sites where you’ll see a ‘contact’ button.

The Showcase was curated by Blue Patch’s founder, Jane Langley, and included the iconic Windsor Rocker by Katie Walker, a designer and maker whose pieces are in the Manchester Art Gallery, sculpture with a musical theme by Abdollah Nafisi, currently studying sculpture at the Royal College Of Art, London.

Wooden carved sculpture by Abdollah Nafisi
Abdollah Nafisi

Finlay Taylor’s practice explores aspects of landscape and natural history, often focusing on specific species, locations, and habitats. Finlay is senior Tutor in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art.

landscape in intaglio print by Finlay Taylor
Print by Finlay Taylor

Carolyn Blake trained at City & Guilds of London Art School and her oil paintings are from the Unchanging Traveller series. Scottish colourist Janet Tod exhibited still life paintings. Janet trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, and is a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute.

Continuing the natural theme, Jim Washburn‘s photographs of plants reference classical compositions, which can be seen in the main Gallery’s permanent collection. Jim trained as an Art Historian in the USA, Italy and France before becoming a journalist. Oliver Gosling, another graduate of the RCA, showed emotionally changed symbolic landscapes and Jason Shuttleworth, exhibited his painterly geometrics. 

person and child look at a lamp by Coldharbour Lights at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase
Visitors captivated by Coldharbour Lights. Photo In The Right Light photography

Coldharbour Lights hung her exquisitely decadent feather chandelier, alongside Angela Cole, currently studying for her City & Guilds Diploma in Basketry. Expert in glaze, potter Linda Bloomfield, exhibited her lichen series.

Laura’s Loom presented woven cushions and blankets reflecting the colours of the Yorkshire Dales. Her work is locally made from fleece, to loom, to blanket!

Laura's Loom cushions and blankets  and Angela Cole's woven baskets at Dulwich Picture gallery
Laura’s Loom and Angela Cole

Madder Cutch & Co. presented handprinted textiles for home furnishings printed on sustainable linen and Beuzeval Furniture tidied things up with Boundary, an all-around practical and elegant handcrafted piece for the home, made from sustainable wood in East London.

Nicola from madder Cutch and Co. at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Nicola from Madder Cutch & Co. Photo In The Right Light photography

The UK’s only leather marble artist Rachel O’Connell presented a range from ROCWORX and Pip & Henry showed their sustainable children’s shoes.

In the Cloisters were Dalston DollsChloe Haywood‘s stylish recycled leather bolt bracelets, hats and hotties, leather-worker Wolfram Lohr had a range of products hand-made in his Sussex workshop, and Will Hamilton-Davies, author, signed copies of his book The Shrew With The Flu.

Angela Cole in her studio in Yorkshire, weaving willow preparing for Blue patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Angela Cole in her Yorkshire workshop
The front cover of Will Hamilton-Davies's book The Shrew With The Flu' at Dulwich Festival
Purple flowers at kew photographed by Jim Washburn for Blue patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Jim Washburn
Boundary, folding wooden screen in a white room. made by Beuzeval Furniture. Exhibited with Blue Patch.
Beuzeval Furniture
Janet Tod's print of orchids in a Japanese pot, at Dulwich picture Gallery with Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase
Janet Tod
Jason Shuttleworth's bright yellow painting at Blue Patch'd Dulwich exhibition.
Jason Shuttleworth
leather hanging plant hangers with white pots and plants grown and made by Wolfram Lohr for Blue Patch's sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase at Dulwich Picture gallery
Wolfram Lohr
Nicola from madder Cutch & Co standing behind a large silk screen, about to print textiles, for Blue patch's sustainable Arts & Crafts showcase, Dulwich festival and Picture gallery
Nicola from madder Cutch & Co. in her studio
Leather offcuts upcycled into bolt bracelets by Chloe Haywood, for Dulwich , Blue Patch's Sustainable Arts & Crafts Showcase
Chloe Haywood London
Child in countryside holding a rag doll by Dalston Dolls. Seen at Blue patch's Sustainable arts & Crafts Showcase
Dalston Dolls

Everything in the Showcase is available to buy or commission.

*The William Morris Society

If you want to get in touch email Blue Patch team, we’d be delighted to help.

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