Retail therapy

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The Independent Online
BECKY MAYNARD has a thing about chairs. She is exhibiting five samples of her work (three of which are ceramic and for ornamental use only) in an exhibition dedicated to the work of recent art graduates at the Royal Festival Hall in London. At the moment she is experimenting with different mediums such as wood, metal and fabric to produce functional chairs as opposed to purely ornamental. Ms Maynard's chairs will range from pounds 250 for her wheelchair to pounds 501 for her gigantic 'Rabbit' chair (made from fabric and wood). They vary from child-size to around 7ft.

'I love the ambiguity of chairs. The way they suggest the human form without being literal. I often put feet or hands on them. I have only sold one chair. When it comes to the crunch people would rather buy a nice bowl that they can live with.'

DAVID REES is showing large colourful vessels that display a childlike quality. 'I see myself as a story teller: my work reflects my life, it speaks about myself and it tells of events that have happened in this life.'

His new work at the Royal College of Art is a departure both in terms of materials and emotions. He is making a chair (purely ornamental) from chicken wire adorned with pink ribbons and glass cushions that is frivolous and OTT. 'My tutor says this is the first piece that shows my true personality. I also want to make a bed with two Ken dolls lying on it, but I think that is too risque for the South Bank. My main issue is at the moment is awareness of sexuality. I want my work to be fun.'

Mr Rees, who won first prize at the Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in March, is now doing an MA, though the decision to continue studying, he maintains, is definitely not the easy option. 'I am able to exhibit while I'm at college but have yet to sell anything. I am pounds 2,000 in debt, which makes me depressed, worse off than those who get unemployment benefit or wages.'

His vessels sell from pounds 565.

OTHER exhibitors include Jane Muir showing figurative ceramics: heads, busts and torsos. Prices from pounds 97. Elaine Richmond sells hand-painted silk scarves and wraps from pounds 217. Sharon Ting's hand-painted, screen- printed silk velvet hangings are pounds 328. Joe Samways's wearable woven textiles and jewellery are from pounds 76.

One Year On: art graduates from 1992 runs until 25 July, Royal Festival Hall, Craft Shop and Gallery, Level 2, 12.30-7.30pm daily.

(Photograph omitted)

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