Domestic Things

An exhibition with the aim of showing new concepts in domestic products based on resourceful use of materials, found objects and digital data. The exhibition, conceived and curated by Hans Stofer, aimed to be interactive, international and collaborative. Domestic Things brought together eight makers who made work specially in order to question the purpose of objects, social relations and the dialogue between individualistic and mass production. Stofer's curatorial research focused on critical and interdisciplinary thinking in design as well as a commitment to the handmade object, and also on strategies of display which fully engaged the audience in thinking about the literal and metaphorical 'place' of things in domestic life. Works selected to exemplify this were by Dutch jeweller Gitte Nygaard, who created a wearables installation on the floor; Israeli furniture designer/maker Jair Straschnow, who researched the notion of lack of space and how the walls can be used to resolve this issue; designer Mike Hurley, who made a ceiling-high machine which could clean tarnished work to illustrate the ongoing maintenance of domestic things; Rachel Wingfield collaborating with Matthias Gmachl (Austria) as the collective on modular structures from smart materials; Francisco Carrescosa, whose photographs reveal macro details of everyday objects, Jacqui Chanerin, small ceramic sculptures for the wall and table surface on the theme of domestic accidents; Patrick Letschka produced time-based films that explored the ritualistic nature of domestic culture. Stofer's own new work expressed his concept of 'rebirthing' an object, handwrapping a series of existing used objects, such as a toothpaste tube or a milk jug, with a perfect skin of tin foil to question its value and meaning.

Seminars and guided tours accompanied this touring exhibition, which was featured in the media across a wide spectrum from Icon to the London Evening Standard and was supported by an Arts Council England grant.