Press Release: 'Craft' is a show about contemporary aspiration manifest through science fiction. In this context it uses the gallery space and visitor as a metaphor for the need of the individual to wish for experience beyond the realms of the physically possible, as the artist provides a glimpse of their 'otherworld' within the gallery.
Though the artists in 'Craft' do not set out to make work which refers to sci-fi, collectively, within this context, a narrative may be drawn from the semi-appropriated, simulated organic forms of Sam Basu, Lolly Batty, David Burrows, Ian Dawson and Matt Franks which implies half remembered glimpses of utopian and even modernist 'Technicolour' sets from Star Trek series 1, or 'Forbidden Planet'.
To emphasise our mortal earthly existence, Priestley takes us to this otherworld in a clunky craft more akin to BBC, low budget sci-fi. It is a reality check with portals and uses animated works from Anthony Gross, Laurie Hill, Daniel Jackson and Milika Muritu to offer the visitor further glimpses of artists 'otherworlds'.
As curator, Priestley satirically implies, through his intentionally low tech installation, a curators lack of ability to truly empathise with the mind of the artist, and how some 'Davros of the Daleks-like' curatorial egos recontextualise artists work for their own evil ends.
Craft is a term which implies process, and is applicable to the artist. It connotes technological wizardry, and applies ironically to Priestley's space-craft, as well as summarises western consumers aspirations towards desired technological advancement where the borders between science and science fiction are often blurred. Most importantly, within 'Craft', it is a term which alludes to the perceived esoteric wisdom imbued within the mind and role of the curator.
>Craft_ curated by Richard Priestley_ Cell Projects Space_ 28.09.2002 - 29.10.2002