On the face of it, there is absolutely nothing that a medical mold for nose transplants has in common with a giant gorilla sculpted out of metal coat hangers. Or with a lace G-string from Poland, for that matter. Yet, all three ended up in the same exhibit at the London V&A. How!?
Simple: The show, called The Power of Making, is about global makers and the raft of cool, crazy stuff they dream up. Now normally when you think of “makers” you think of geeks who spend Friday night pulling D&D miniatures out of a MakerBot printer in their parents’ basement. The V&A has (thankfully) adopted a much broader definition. “Maker” covers everyone from an Israeli prosthetic-limb designer to a hyper-realistic cake decorator to retired naval officer Tony Casdagli, the only male member of the Chelsea Ladies sewing group. What they share is the ability to wield technology, be it old (a needle and thread) or new (3-D printers), to create wildly inventive objects whether for medicine, entertainment, the domestic sphere, or fine art.
“This exhibition celebrates the importance of traditional and time-honoured ways of making but also highlights the extraordinary innovation taking place around the world,” says Daniel Charny, who curated the exhibition. “We aim to show how the act of making in its various forms, from human expression to practical problem solving, is shared by all.” Polish panty sewers included.