Hereford is celebrating its blacksmithing heritage

Hereford is celebrating its blacksmithing heritage with a new design led event in the city centre, Ferrous 2017, which starts on Friday 20th October 2017. In its inaugural year Ferrous2017 will see two major exhibitions of contemporary blacksmithed works

Development of the event has been spearheaded by Del Done, Course Leader for Artist Blacksmithing at Hereford College of Arts and Georgia Smith, Strategy Lead at Hereford Business Improvement District who have collaborated with the intention of making the work of the artist blacksmith more visible to architects, interior and landscape designers and those who commission new works. At the same time, the event is designed to offer local residents and visitors an opportunity to witness the skills of the blacksmith at first hand and to encourage them to consider buying or commissioning original art.

Ferrous2017 will showcase art from forges around the world in its two major exhibitions, Transition at Hereford Cathedral and Forge at Hereford Art Gallery.

Forge is a new exhibition of work by contemporary designers, curated by Del Done and first seen earlier this year in Ruthin.  Opening on Friday 20th October and running until Sunday 12th November, it features works by 15 designers whose practice has been identified as having a significant impact and who represent a new wave of contemporary metal artists who have developed innovative and design-led practices.

Gazitua (CHL), Nils Hint (EST), Christian Vaughan-Jones (GBR), Takayoshi Komine (JPN), Daniel Neville (USA), Patrick J. Quinn (USA), Daniel Randall (USA), Leszek Sikoń (POL), Richard Smith (USA), Fred Truus (EST), Stephen Yusko (USA), Heiner Zimmerman (DEU).

Transition, also running  from 20th October, is a major international exhibition which was initially shown in Blegium as part of Ypres 2016. To reflect on World War One, 300 renowned Master Blacksmiths from across the world came together to work voluntarily on a commemorative object. The peace monument they forged forms a unique testament to the power of collaboration, friendship and craft.

The ideas presented in Transition and the collaboration and sharing of traditional skills at the Ypres event are closely linked. An international community linked by their craft presented and created individual and collective reflections of past, present and future.

Blacksmiths played a particular role for all the countries involved in World War One. Agricultural tools, decorative ironwork and church bells were melted and forged; transformed into the machinery of war.

This sense of making and re-making is reflected in the exhibition title. The original exhibition brief asked artist blacksmiths to interpret ‘transition’ in its broadest sense:

“not only that from peace to war to peace, but also the transitions in the human, social, political, technological and physical landscapes that the conflict brought about in the post-war world.”

(Kantzen, 2016)

The exhibits selected comprise thirty-five diverse and evocative pieces by international artists and was supported by the British Artist Blacksmithing Association, and produced by Del Done.

The exhibition shows works by 35 artists from around the world including:

Achim Kuhn , Fritz Kuhn, Steffen Lempp (Germany), Agnieszka Mazur, Ryszard Mazur, Lesek Sikon, (Poland), Ambrose Burne, Alan Dawson, Tony Ingarfield, Arran Lang, Tim Mackereth, Daniel Moss, Charles Normandale, Peat Oberon, Patrick J. Quinn, Dick Quinnell, Brian Russell, Lucille Scott, Peter Smith, Christian Vaughan-Jones, (UK), Erik Gjenden, Benjamin Kjellman-Chapin, Fred Truus (Norway), Gabriel Chaille, Jeffrey Funk, Joshua A. Goss, Daniel Randall, (USA), Egor Bavykin, Vladimir Sokhonovich, Dimitrii Volkov, (Russia), Philip Vercammen, Ivan Snauwaert (Belgium), Mathieu Pelletier (France), Naoto Uda, Takayoshi Komine (Japan), Nils Hint (Estonia), Roberto Giordani (Italy), Sandra Dunn (Canada), Steve Phillips, Will Maguire (Australia).

A third exhibition will see both contemporary and historic forged metal on display around the city centre in the member businesses of Hereford Business Improvement District between 20th October and 12th November.  From historic eel forks and bicycles demonstrating traditional local interests, to mirrors and sculpture which use the same skills but in novel ways, Hereford will look at its past and present through artists’ eyes.

Ferrous2017 has commissioned its own new work from young designer, Ambrose Burne as part of the festival.  The Ginkgo Arbour has been designed as a reflective piece for the memorial garden at St Michael’s Hospice just outside Hereford. The making of the piece will take place at Ferrous2017 during the live forging weekend from 20th to 22nd October in Hereford city centre and will be a community project with members of the public able to forge one of the leaves which will adorn the hand-made structure.

The festival will also host a metal market place where there will be a small range of stalls selling small items with artist blacksmiths available to talk about their work and the potential for commissioned work. And there will be family fun activities for all ages linked to the festival’s theme of forged metal.

For more information go to www.herefordcitylife.co.uk/ferrous2017

Contacts: Hereford College of Arts, Delyth Done, d.done@hca.ac.uk or Hereford BID, Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@herefordbid.co.uk

 

 

 

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