New Truth to Materials: Wood
8 September 2017 – 1 January 2018
An exhibition exploring artists’ and audiences’ relationship to wood over the last century.
‘Truth to materials’, the tenet that an art work should directly relate to and not disguise the qualities of the materials with which it is made, is most associated with the Arts and Crafts movement arising after the Industrial Revolution.
In this first of a series of exhibitions at the Ditchling Museum, the principle is revisited as it applies to wood, exploring how artists past and present either embraced or questioned the idea. Ditchling has a rich tradition of working with wood; the Catholic craftsmen’s guild, founded in 1920, included an extensive carpenters’ workshop, and the village was home to the wood-engraving revival of the 1920s and 1930s. The show looks at our emotional engagement with this natural material and considers how different practitioners use it to exploit the response of their audience.
The approach is multi-disciplinary, encompassing work by a diverse group of artists, designers and craftsmen from the last hundred years including Graham Sutherland, Sebastian Cox, Anna Maria Pacheco and Forest & Found. Also, for four weeks of the exhibition, Polish artist Anna Bera, whose work draws on the relationship between humans and nature, will be artist-in-residence at the museum.