If you are blessed enough to live in London at this moment, you have the rare treat of taking in the full sweep of a personal crossroads for a few weeks longer. Felicity Powell out on display windows into the tiers of her creative being. Her own works in Charmed Life: The Solace of Objects at the Wellcome Collection are fabulous and absorbing wax sculptures on black glass, so particular in their execution that they speak of a deep understanding of their subject matter. Curiosity is the best possible word for the subject, which does not yield itself despite the artist’s obvious intimacy with it. Fortunately, I imagine one can straighten up from their close case-gazing and take in Powell’s tandem exhibition of her curatorial skills, a survey of amulets, charms and a history of magic in London.
Perhaps you have heard much about the split between craft and art. The separate museums and galleries would seem to validate this. The imported crafts sold in contemporary art museum gift shops seem to underline it. Nevertheless this discussion is as droll as invoking the vaporous ‘market’ to explain the success and challenge of the individual. Through the lens of this exhibit, we see the actuality of an artist at work, particularly an artist who is closely involved with their materials. Personal inspiration leads to research, then curation and promotion, and the drafting of proposals that can dance between intrigue and education for the public, all to incorporate one’s artistry into this vehicle. If this was not enough, to then take this sweated opportunity to display command and composure by delivering craftsmanship reveals the mark of an ambition that is almost unearthly in the dry and glassy eyed world of creatives steering by mere ‘market-driven’ navigation.