Between the 30 of September and 10 October, in what was to be the preamble to the second wave of the COVID pandemic in London, Chilean craft makers were making their quiet debut in this year’s London Craft Week, in what was to prove a remarkable showcase of modern craft making.
Financed by the Chilean Government through the Ministry of Culture’s International relations department, and supported by the British Council’s Chile office, the exhibition ‘Chilean Crafts, Human Natures’ was the first time a collection of Chilean craft works was put on display in the UK. The Ministry decided to go ahead with the exhibition despite the complex scenario, as a sign to the artisans to show them how important it is to showcase local crafts, while committing to broader collaborations between Chile and the UK in a range of areas.
Curated by Romain Julia, the 13 makers represented some of the best Chilean crafts men and women have to offer. From basketry and weavings, to stoneware and silver Mapuche jewellery, these artisans displayed a broad array of hand-made goods of the highest standard at London’s Zari Gallery.
Successful sales saw works like Jose Miguel Marty’s whole collection of basketry being sold to a local collector, while others saw some of their exquisite pieces bought by avid collectors and enthusiastic visitors who made sure this first incursion into the UK by Chilean crafts won’t be the last.