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Mr Monkey sees Past Present Perfect at the MCDC, 15th December

Mr Monkey scampered along to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre to see Past Present Perfect a fortnight or so after it opened. He found that there was work by eight artists and set out to see them all.

Mr Monkey looking at necklaces by Julia Roy-Williams Mr Monkey looking at glasswork by Catherine Parr Mr Monkey started by looking at the display cases. The first things he saw were necklaces, made from computer-cut perspex and silver by Julia Roy-Williams. Mr Monkey was intrigued by the apparent colour difference between the faces and the edges of the perspex loops.

Below the necklaces Mr Monkey admired Catherine Parr's excellent hand-made bowls. They're made from glass, though Mr Monkey wouldn't have known by looking as the surfaces all appear so different and the biggest really does look metallic. The designs were inspired by the crochet patterns bequeathed to her when her grandmother died.
Mr Monkey looking at resin clock sculptures by Nadia Peters Mr Monkey looking at ceramic statuettes by Rose Wallace Next Mr Monkey examined Nadia Peters' sculptural work, made from old transparent slides from Eastern Europe encased in resin. This is effective, but it is a little difficult to see what was in the picture. Mr Monkey wondered how the clocks would work and decided that they were sculptural clocks, and therefore not accurate timepieces.

On the top level of the left hand side of the display cabinet Mr Monkey saw a number of Rose Wallace's figurines. These are made in a style based on traditional Staffordshire stoneware, using pressed, extruded or thrown elements joined at the hard-as-leather stage and given a traditional Staffordshire glaze.
Mr Monkey looking at metal fishing lures by Lucy Harvey Mr Monkey looking at ceramics by Lee Page Hanson On the middle shelf, Mr Monkey examined two series created by Lucy Harvey - a set of lures commisioned by the MCDC to symbolise the past of the building (it used to be a fish market) and a set of hooks resulting from a study of the old fishing industry of Aberystwyth. The pieces are made with a combination of natural and man-made found objects and parts made specially for the work to represent the heritage of an area.

The last pieces that Mr Monkey saw in the display area were ceramics by Lee Page Hanson. His work is inspired by various 20th century artists; the pieces on display are simple press moulded vessels decorated with roses. Mr Monkey was taken with the the birds inside the largest bowl.
Mr Monkey looking at Dickens' beard knitted by Oyanga Gombo-Ochir Mr Monkey looking at knitted sculptures by Elizabeth Smith Mr Monkey realised that only six artists were on display in the cabinet, so he had a quick search for the other two, finding them on the wall near the exit.

Oyanga Gombo-Ochir admires beards so much that she knits false ones. For Past Present Perfect she's prepared a selection of historical beards including Rasputin, Dickens and Guy Fawkes (which wasn't as pointy as Mr Monkey thought it should be).

The last artist in the exhibition is Elizabeth Smith, who uses crochet, knitting and embroidery to create large, slightly unsettling, installations. There are two site-specific pieces on display, though Mr Monkey couldn't really tell where one finished and the other started. Both reminded him of the plants that grow from the gutters of abandoned industrial buildings.
Past Present Perfect runs until 29th January 2011.
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