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Review: Contemporary Construction at Bluecoat Display Centre

Contemporary Construction
Bluecoat Display Centre
, Friday 26th August 2016 – Saturday 24th September 2016

Words, Carol Emmas

Bringing an essence of architectural design into our interiors are the Bluecoat Display Centre’s latest exhibitors, Rita Parniczky and Hugh Miller. There is no brutalist homage here – but there is a modernist and complementary minimalist take on both their work.

Parniczky, who spent her childhood in the Hungarian countryside, replicates light and shade through her delicately woven pieces, that take inspiration from the stark winter trees and the luminosity of ice and snow. Blink and you might just miss the intricacy of her X-Ray series; installations which are as surreptitious as the vertical warp threads that she focuses on, and that are usually invisible to the naked eye. For her, it’s all about scratching beneath the surface to reveal the introverted beauty beneath. Yet, despite this lack of tall poppy syndrome, her work is certainly not overlooked, and amongst other plaudits, she has been awarded the Peter Collingwood Trust Award for innovative technique and the prestigious Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize 2016.

Likewise, having travelled to Japan as a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow in order to research the country’s woodworking craftsmanship, Miller has incorporated the Japanese sensibility of constructing furniture to add to his clients’ interiors in a harmonious way. Rather than through any obvious statement. Miller, who trained as an architect and whose pieces are designed for generational longevity is showing his collection entitled ‘An Absence of Noise’ in four venues across the UK. As with any architectural design statement, it will be interesting to view his furniture retrospectively in 50 years’ time.