Sunday, 11 September 2011

Joe Hogan at Cruth Curach, Electric Picnic 2011

http://http// years Electric Picnic included a temporary pavilion designed and built as the outcome of a competition to celebrate Ireland's Year of Craft 2011 a colaboration between by architects Bucholz McEvoy and Jim Horgan of the Galway School of Boat Building . Inside the pavilion were some perspex display boxes with various examples of craft objects. I was instantly drawn to two of them because inside were works by Joe Hoganhttp://http//, Irish basket maker par excellance. My excitement was increased to find he was giving a talk with Joanne Hynes fashion designer who he collaborated with on her 2010 London Fashion Week Show. One of the displays was one of the actual hats he made for her and the other a beautiful basket of willow and lichen adorned birch. Breathtaking. The pavilion was situated on the Villge Green and Global Green a place filled with fairground carousels, bingo tent, various amplified campaining stalls and the drifting sounds from the stages beyond. All festivals are a fusion of sound and this Irish one has the extra gregarious breeze of that other contributor....the crowd themselves. It was Saturday at 4pm that Joe and Joanne gave their talk and a microphone helped but we also gathered close to them with our seats. They explained how they collaborated Joanne wanting Joe to create untamed hats using his basketry materials to wilder effect. After her show in London they found their work appearing all over the media and front page of the Guardian. The image of a model in one of their twiggy creations was stunning. Joe described it as a mohawk ...I thought it was very similar to a Cossack's helmet with birch replacing fur. Joe however thrilled and suprised by the attention said he would be remaining firm in his own practice not dissapearing off into the fashion world. Why shoudl he from basket making he makes a good living and also for those who love his work an impression and inspiration in his own right. Joanne noted her practice was spread from continent to continent, flying from place to place were Joe had a more holistic connection with his craft, growing his materials, working within that envirioment. Both these creators are at the top of their game to see them sit together sharing the microphone she in her heels and perhaps one of a kind outfit, he in more everyday smart casual wear theystill managed to look like two equal co- conspirators in tune with the desire to explore ideas and let their activity lead them to something new and suprising. Afterwards there was a Q&A session and they were very easy to pry and listen too. It was wonderful to talk to Joe later and he told me he was to have an exhibition of his work in Port Laois the following week. Unfortunately I would be home by then however he is taking part in a show at Ruthin Craft Centre 16th September which Isaid I would be visiting. and in which he said he was showing six pieces. I admitted to being the maker of the willow sculptures installed just a little distance from the pavilion and he said he had given them a close look..."well you would wouldn't you" and ofcourse I would but.. hey he was positive. Absolute gentleman.

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