(adam štěch) Until April 3, one can visit the Drawn from Clay – Noordoostpolder exhibition in Gallery Libby Sellers in London. At 29 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, one can engage in, apart from design, a geological, geographical, and historical survey of Noordoostpolder – a region in the central Netherlands.
Gallery Libby Sellers ranks among the most significant private institutions that exhibit design. Libby Sellers, former curator of the Design Museum in London, treats design from a very refined curatorial approach. After successful exhibitions such as Grandmateria and Beau Sauvage (presenting the work of Peter Marigold, Max Lamb, Tomas Král, and Nicolas Le Moigne, among others), the curator organized an exhibition for the Dutch NL Architects.
They focused on mapping fields and polders in the Noordoostpolder region that is exceptional for its geological diversity of minerals and soils. The architects analysed various factors in the scope of a several month-long survey. Thus, the exhibition presents the result of their survey of the landscape, history, geology, and various agricultural methods in the given area. The sensitive approach to the topic is depicted on a series of photos, geological samples, and a collection of handmade clay pots from various soil samples. Thus, the architects created a geographically rooted design that corresponds with the characteristics of the Noordoostpolder area. A potato bowl is made from soil in which this farming product is planted. The basic material for a tulip vase is soil in which tulips grow. Design became an independent geographical sample. The collection consists of clay bowls, watering cans, and carafes combined with other materials. Metal, glass, and typical Dutch porcelain are brightened up by various shades of orange that depend on the particular place from which the burnt clay comes. The end result gives a rustic and conceptual impression. This collection certainly was not exhibited for the last time. The iconic porcelain factory Royal Tichelaar Makkum has included the concept of NL Architects into its new collection, which will be presented at Design Week in Milan in April.
Whether Libby Sellers presents various designer approaches under one theme or supports the independent creations of NL Architects, she always manages to outline unsuspected possibilities and meanings for applied arts in collaboration with creative designers.