Bathing Beauties – The National Centre for Craft and Design

Exhibition runs 13th – 26th Sept 2012
Private view 13th Sept
Talk by Michael Trainor 18th Sept
Location: Gallery & Project Space

An international exhibition of over one hundred models designed by artists and architects who re-imagine the British beach hut for the first time in three hundred years.

Great Western Studios and The National Centre for Craft and Design present The Bathing Beauties® exhibition which evolved from the Bathing Beauties® project This inspired 240 architects, artists and designers from 15 countries to compete for commissions to build their designs on the stunning Lincolnshire coast. The competition, organised by artist Michael Trainor, elicited one of the most exciting responses to any architectural competition this century. A selection of models (scale 1:15), showing the incredible virtuosity of approach will be on show in the exhibition.

‘The beach hut is one of the few building forms which has been seriously overlooked by contemporary architects the world over. They are perceived as a treasured feature of our coastal landscape, as quintessentially British as fish and chips and the knotted hanky, but in reality are usually little more than a painted shed’. Michael Trainor, Lead Artist & Project Curator.

The brief to re-imagine the simple beach hut produced an amazing array of design solutions which catapult our ideas of seaside micro-architecture into a new aesthetic, rather than an endless pastiche of imaginary heritage.  Traditional seaside references are gone, replaced by structures incorporating wind turbines, saunas, camera obscura, viewing platforms and space-age materials with only the most oblique of witty nods to sandcastles and stripy windbreaks.  Striking, unconventional and surprising, many of the models celebrate the idea of happening upon something by chance when strolling along the beach, whilst others are bold creative exercises in space, light and line.

Examples on show include the scale model which won ‘Best Model’ prize for outstanding craftsmanship, Lazy Susan by Thurgood Hobson Design, London; partly inspired by the American Airstream caravan, the beautifully crafted Lazy Susan is designed to rotate to follow the sun.  Mark Thurgood is a designer, model maker, 3-D illustrator and skilled carpenter with a strong media background having designed for both television and magazines.  Kevin Hobson is a designer/maker and silversmith jeweler with a variety of craft skills.  Other scale models on show include: Jabba by i-am associates Ltd, London, a 21st century cave of laminated wood and glass whose organic form wouldn’t look out of place in one of the desert scenes of Star Wars; The Wizard of Oz by Lionel T Dean, Future Factories, Lincolnshire, a ‘twister’ of a beach-hut which plays with the idea of being boarded up out-of-season; Cheese 42 by Christian Uhl, Germany, literally a giant cheese block with surprisingly practical features; and Alien Drum Sensorium by Alasdair Tooze, Gareth Hoskins, UK, which is inspired by beach detritus such as washed-up containers and features a sound-amplifying horn for deeper enjoyment of the crashing waves.

This is a show for all the family to see design at its best and most innovative. Wonder at the way in which architecture and design can solve problems and make imaginative places.

Opened in October 2003 as ‘The Hub’ and rebranded as The National Centre for Craft and Design entirely dedicated to the exhibition, celebration and promotion of the very best of national and international craft and design and receives over 85,000 visitors a year.

Further information:

bathing beauties


Found in:
13 September 2012