Beth Hopkins is one of 34 UK and international artists featured in our national touring exhibition Radical Craft: Alternate Ways of Making, which is currently at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. On 14 July Craftspace hosted a symposium event in Aberystwyth which explored themes drawn from the exhibition. Beth attended the event and recorded her experiences on her blog, which she has kindly allowed us to share on the Outside In blog.
In March 2016 I was lucky enough to have a piece selected for the Radical Craft: Alternative Ways of Making exhibition, organised by Outside In and Craftspace. It was a small figure made from objects I found in the Thames. The exhibition has toured six venues, with another two to go, ending in November 2017 at Walford Mill Dorset. On 14th July there was a symposium in Aberystwyth, discussing themes raised by the exhibition, which I went along to.
It was a lively discussion, with speakers from Germany and Japan, as well as a film from Finland. I was interested to learn that in Japan they use the term ‘Art Brut’ instead of the controversial term ‘Outsider Art’. The highlight for me was the keynote speech describing artist Andrew Omoding’s three month residency, creating stunning sculptural textile hangings.
The thing I enjoyed most about the symposium was meeting other artists and discussing their work, it was inspiring to hear about their processes. It was also an honour to be exhibiting alongside some of my favorite artists from around the world, including Judith Scott from America, Shinichi Sawada from Japan and Nek Chand Saini from India.
Thank you to Craftspace and Outside In for organising the exhibition and symposium, and providing real opportunities for people like me, who face barriers to the art world.