47/49 Tanner Street
October 28th - Nov 02nd
Having solidified foundations and set down roots, Cluster Craft Fair returns 28 October - 2 November at Ugly Duck, bringing together over one hundred examples of young craft innovation and talent.. Situated once again at London’s historic warehouse district Bermondsey, the fair takes places over three-floors, arranged to represent the material interdependence of earth, soil and air.
The Earth is formed through a grand and gradual circulation of materials, it begins with granular actions and accumulate into gigantic forms. As sediment is washed downstream it settles, forming new riverbanks, shaping estuaries or creating new islands along the coast. Eventually these particles will work their way deep into the soil, become compressed at depths and fossilised. A thousand years later they will be dug out the ground. Monumental history is written in the most humble elements.
In this way, the clay we dig to spin a ceramic bowl represents a story some thousands of years in the making. The materials we handle embody narratives that are unreadable to our conception of time. Having dried the clay, we fire it, the temperature within the kiln raising to evaporate out the remaining water, burn through any organic matter and release these as gases. These chemicals re-enter our atmosphere for the first time in many centuries. Air and earth are interlinked with us performing part of the process in between.
Multi-disciplinary in nature, Cluster Crafts challenges traditional taxonomies, presenting an experimental, experience driven, approach to crafts. From the ground floor mantle, we encounter earthen tones and tactile finishes, rough materials that wear hard and require physical exhaustion to shape. Upwards to the second floor surface, functional design demonstrates a world constructed by mankind and responding to their needs, contemporary styles and logic applications.
Founded in 2016, Cluster set the tone for art fairs that do away with middle men, dropped gallery representation and percentages skimmed off the top. Instead, it set out to be London’s most affordable art fair, featuring pure creation, unmitigated and unapologetic. Since then Cluster has grown into a celebration of diversity, style, material and themes, of ethnicity, background, age and class, a melting pot defined solely by the artistic necessity to express.
To date Cluster has held ten fairs, including ones dedicated to Illustration, Craft, Jewellery and Photography. With over 400 creatives featured, Cluster has formed a community of practitioners, which it supports through a programme of monthly gatherings, career support, one-on-one development sessions, talks, seminars and workshops, as well as the opportunity to take part in an ongoing series of curated projects and publications.
Cluster is more than a fair, it is a joint venture, a share journey, creative safe house and exercise in community building. Each fair and every event is a meeting place of like-minded individuals, sharing stories of success and struggle, initiating conversations and collaborations.