Animal Magic – an Exhibition of Creatures from the Collection opens today at the collection’s Design Study Centre in Park Row, Bristol.
The new show at the Ken Stradling Collection showcases around 90 pieces which reflect Ken’s sense of fun in the form of animals. Every kind of medium is covered from steel to paper and from Wedgwood Coronation souvenir mugs to cheerful Danish wooden toys by Kai Bojesen.
In the gallery Eleanor Glover’s birds have managed to open the cage door and are escaping into the room. Lions roar and bulls posture while Bojesen’s monkey swings from the shelving. A blue papier maché tabby is curled up at the window keeping an eye on Park Row. On the wall is a tribute to Max, Ken’s first cat and a Sam Smith drawing of circus acrobats improbably balancing a lion and a tiger.
These pieces are not necessarily the first ones you notice when visiting the collection because of their relatively small size. The discovery of a hedgehog or a seal amongst the studio pottery or on a side table always brings a smile. Brought out and displayed together the colour and energy of them is highlighted. Though some are toys and playful others are more reflective and sinister. Ian McKay’s wooden chicken stands proud but open the drawer in her side and it contains not eggs but a row of tiny trussed and roast birds. Other artists and designers featured include Bill Newland, Sid Burnard, Eric Ravilious, Peter Markey as well as a number of folk art pieces from around the world.
The show is open from Saturday 28 March to Wednesday 24 June 2015 – Wednesdays 10am – 4pm or by appointment. There is a fun activity sheet for children.
Click here for a pdf of the show poster Print one and stick it on your wall!