I’ve been enjoying a recent issue of Hand/Eye, which lives up to its normal high standards of journalism and design. Number 06 is a particularly broad-ranging issue, covering craft in West & North Africa, South-East Asia, India, Brazil and Australia. Each contributes to a broad spectrum of colours, which gives this issue an especially sumptuous feel.
It’s hard to say this, but the photography is almost too good. The scenes and saturated hues are so intense that it throws the reader back into role of spectator, awed by the glorious colour. This is perfect as a celebration of craft, but it doesn’t really allow for any critical engagement. I feel myself left asking, as a typical self-castigating liberal, what are the terms of engagement between me and the subjects on these the pages? It feels like they’re the actors and I’m the audience, which is familiar in fashion or cinema. But I wonder if there are more active forms of engagement available in crafts.
As always, I highly recommend reading Hand/Eye. There’s been nothing like it in terms of a forum for the richness of global craft culture. But this particular sumptuous feast may require a digestive.