An exquisite showcase of multicultural crafts

Rosita Henley
·2-min read
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

From Town & Country

From 19 January, SoShiro Gallery will house contemporary exhibition: ‘Crafting A Difference’.

The new gallery, founded by the Nairobi-born architect and designer Shiroi Muchir, is located in a Georgian townhouse in the heart of Marylebone, and will display a range of collectible home accessories, art, furniture and fine objects.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

‘Crafting a Difference’ is “a positively defiant act of coming together at a time when so many have been forced apart,” says Muchir. It is a celebration of culture, materials and methods, with more than 150 pieces from over 35 designers across Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

Munchir continues: “The craft sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, yet it’s also been a very creative time for many makers, artists and gallerists.”

The display will include works from artists including Babs Haenen, Liang Wanying, Jeffry Mitchell, Helen O’Shea, Alice Walton and Zhao Jinya.

Liang Wanying’s work is influenced by her hometown in the city of Xi’an in north-west China. After receiving a BFA from China Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing in 2011, Liang moved to America, where she studied ceramics.

Photo credit: paul noble
Photo credit: paul noble

Throughout her time in America, Liang struggled to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds and so isolated herself from the outside world. Formality and the idea of rituals are central to Liang’s artworks. Her emotive sculptures evoke a sense of tranquillity, away from the anxieties of everyday life.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

Helen O’Shea is an Irish textile artist who uses materials to explore issues surrounding sustainability. Her work Balancing Relations focuses on the impact of our environment and waste plastics in the ocean, whereby she uncovers the potential of plastic, reusing it to create impressive forms.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

The Chinese artist Jinya Zhao employs glass to conjure a sense of what she describes as “non-existent existence”. Currently she is an artist-in-residence at Southern Illinois University in the US.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

Her work examines the relationship between colour, form and structure through alternate variations in glass. Each piece is made of opaque and transparent blown glass layered to disembody its obscure form.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

The British ceramic artist Alice Walton uses a multitude of objects to create abstract forms, which have attracted international acclaim being displayed at both the V&A and Tat5e Modern. A meditative quality resonates from each object, creating a tension between the calm and kinetic, make her objects extremely compelling.

Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications
Photo credit: Friends & Co PR and Communications

From September, Shiro will also introduce a new collection of furniture and accessories, plus an installation from the Cuban-American artist Alexandre Arrechea.

‘Crafting a Difference’ is at SoShiro Gallery, London from 9 January to 2 March. ‘Crafting a Difference’ coincides with the London Art Fair (18 January to 7 February) and Collect (26 February to 2 March).