Kate Butler, Nadene Carr, Ko-Hsin Chen, Emma Cullen, Kristin D'Agostino, Matt Fanning, Sunni Gibson, Emma Grose, Gwen Hudson, David Kaho, Corinne Lochner, Sita Main, Jade Muirhead, Helen Perrett, Lars Preisser, Robyn Singh, Raewyn Walsh
Now in its sixth year, Objectspace's annual graduate exhibition continues to present outstanding graduates from New Zealand tertiary institutions in the fields of Applied Arts and Design. Providing a valuable snapshot of the trends and issues in contemporary creative practice, Best in Show 2010 showcases seventeen newly emerged voices in contemporary Jewellery, Fashion, Textile, Object, Furniture, Ceramics, and Graphic Design.
Although public awareness of and interest in contemporary craft and design has grown significantly in recent years, it is important to highlight that this growth is not limited to New Zealand. Malcolm McCullough of The University of Michigan has recently said "the idea of craft has jumped to the forefront of creative work. The many young artisans now engaged in digital fabrication, tangible interfaces, and do-it-yourself electronics may enjoy reflecting on the few who kept craft alive through the industrial night."
Given this growing level of interest in craft discourse, it may seem surprising that there is no local tradeshow-type initiative in place between institutions to showcase art and design graduates. Albeit referring to the much larger market for craft and design that exists in the UK, international design historian and recent visitor to New Zealand, Guy Julier, commented in a 2009 interview with ProDesign magazine that there is a "big, very commercial show called ‘New Designers' where universities have to pay thousands of pounds to have a stand there to showcase their best students and their art." He was quick to note, however, that "the problem with the whole sort of exhibition-driven form of student design outcomes is that it privileges certain kinds of approaches to design over others." Objectspace is aware of this potential issue, and as an independently selected launching pad for emerging practitioners, Best in Show 2010 aims not to present a strictly defined purview of institutional programmes, but instead offer the public an exciting selection of new voices in a variety of creative endeavours, and to these exhibitors, a valuable professional development opportunity.
Objectspace would like to congratulate all the Best in Show 2010 exhibitors on their substantial achievements to date and also acknowledge the following Institutions and their representatives who continue to play a very important role in the development of Design and the Applied Arts in New Zealand: Manukau School of Visual Arts (Te Whare Takiura o Manukau), Unitec (Te Whare Wänanga o Wairaka), Otago Polytechnic (Te Kura Matatini ki Otago), Whitireia (Te Kura Matatini o Whitireia), Massey University.
Matt Blomeley, Objectspace Programme Coordinator
A print publication for this exhibition is available for purchase at Objectspace, or as a free PDF download here.