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The Real Thing


For over thirty years, Tanya Harrod has written for newspapers, magazines, and journals. As these essays show, there are no boundaries in her vision: art is considered in the light of craft, and craft in the light of art; design is present too – developing and sometimes separating from craft and art. In part these essays document the development of these shifts, looking always at the particular, vivid embodiment. Her subjects range from the sculpture of Barbara Hepworth to the poetic objects-in-landscape of Ian Hamilton Finlay, from the science fiction of Philip K. Dick to the theories of Richard Sennett, from Welsh quarry slates to the fine art of icing cakes, from the ceramics of Pablo Picasso to the still lives of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. The essays are grouped into three parts: reviews of exhibitions and events (‘Visiting’), reflections on themes and phenomena (‘Reading’), warm and historically informed portraits of makers (‘People’). Two longer essays are appended, previously published in hard-to-access publications. The real thing is a surprising and substantial contribution to the literature of  making’.

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