26 May 2015

that time I volunteered at the Saatchi Gallery

For five days at the start of May you would have found me wearing a bright blue t-shirt running around the Saatchi Gallery - taking tickets, manning the cloakroom, circling the rooms and being that helpful, smiling face at the information point - all in aid of the Craft Council's annual international art fair: COLLECT.

I'd originally signed up because I was unemployed and needed fun things to look forward to. Luckily when I got my job they allowed me to take some leave to honour the commitment. The exhibition was short (only open four days to the general public) but took over the entirety of the Saatchi which, to me, felt like pretty good value for the ticket price (£12 in advance, £17 on the door) plus there was SO MUCH to see! Around 30 galleries take part from all over the world, representing over 200 individual artists. Incase you haven't worked out what's coming...this is going to be a v.picture heavy post. I was massively impressed, not to mention inspired, by many of the pieces.

 stone whales by Tonino Negri // ceramic babies by Shigeki Hayashi // glass cube by Sabrina Cant (I found this memerising, the picture doesn't do it justice, it looked like a little universe inside a cube!) // giant vases by Felicity Aylieff

stickleback fish by Edouard Martinet (this fish was made from allsorts of metal bits and bobs including a bunch of spoons!) // Archive of elements and orbitals by Louis Thompson

 Universe - S by Shihoko Fukumoto // A path strewn with roses by Serverija Incirauskaite Kriauneviciene (all the holes were drilled through this old VW car door and it's real thread used for the cross-stitch - swoon)

jars by Steffen Dam (one of my favourite pieces from the show, it's all v.cleverly made from glass)

tarzan (necklace) by Rodolfo Ramo Azaro // ribbon desk & unstable stool by Angus Ross // porcelain pieces by Nicola Tassie // porcelain rhinos by Kensuke Fujiyoshi

annoyingly I can't find find the name of the artist but I can tell you it's made from lots of strips of ceramic // black magma egg by Kate Malone // morning trio by  by Serverija Incirauskaite Kriauneviciene (this was another cross stitch one - love) // forged mild steel bowl by Junko Mori

another pic of those beautiful stone whales // the orrery by Steffen Dam

Another of my favourites: a rhino knight by Kensuke Fujiyoshi

Moving Through by Ann Sutton //amore mediterraneo by Ugo La Pietra // Beautiful bangle from the I AM HERE part of the exhibition, alas the Crafts Council failed to include the name of the artists in this section (which as a bit odd) // robin by Edouard Martinet

  stunning mint vase (artist unknown) // tiger family by Kensuke Fujiyoshi // vase by Kate Malone // voilins (made of wood and fabric) by Indra Marcinkeviciene

 Ciliege by Ugo La Pietra

In terms of a volunteering experience there were a few lows (being asked to go and get lunch and e-cigarettes for staff members of the Craft Council and spending 2 and a half hours in the smallest most overcrowded cloakroom I've ever seen) but mostly highs (meeting lots of lovely new people and generally just have a good laugh with the other volunteers, Saatchi staff and secruity guys who were also hired to work the event). If you'd asked me after the first two days whether I'd do it again next year, truthfully, I would've said no (owing largely to the cloakroom incident). Had you asked that same question at the end, after Saturday and Monday which were by far the best days (almost to the point where I got very much into the swing of things and forgot that I had another job to go back to), my answer would be a big fat: "yes!" I think when volunteering at events you need to be interested in the subject matter but ultimately, it's the people you're working with that make it a positive experience and I was v.fortunate at COLLECT :)

Being the nosy bugger that I am, I'd be interested in whether you've volunteered for something and what it was like...


  1. Wow! All those works of art are simply amazing! I've volunteered at the Dallas International Film Festival for a few years. Some years it's pretty good, the people are fun and I'm doing stuff that make me feel involved. Other years, not so much. I have yet to meet anyone single at any type of volunteering activity.

    1. Yeah, the people really make it great, as well as the whole getting involved in relevant parts of the event. That's really interesting re: no single people, I would've thought that volunteering would be a great (and free!) way to meet people. At this exhibition ALL the volunteers were women which I thought was kinda weird, there must be some guys interested in craft!


Ta v.much :)

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