ken stradling collection
ken stradling collection

An Introduction by Ken Stradling

I must say I was intrigued when the idea was presented to me of holding an online exhibition of design objects belonging to Friends of the KSC. I have spent the last 14 years sharing my collection with as many people as possible, and now I was to have the chance to view some of the things that others have collected.

The wonderful selection of artefacts displayed in Loved Designs is an assortment of objects every bit as eclectic and broad-ranging as the KSC. It reflects to a surprising degree both the quality and the individuality of my collection: you will find objects that have been purposefully designed to be used in everyday life such as the Black & Decker pistol-grip trigger electric drill and the La Conica espresso maker; pieces that are beautifully made and bring a personal story with them, such as the American model fire engine from the 1950s and Aurélie Vyain’s portraits painted on chestnuts; works of exquisite craftsmanship such as the Umehara Shoji teapot, the ‘Strength’ wooden sculpture by Eve Olsen and, just as in my collection, a multi-media sculpture by Eleanor Glover; add a sprinkling of fun mass-produced objects, including a knitted monkey and a set of Warrior water pistols, and we have an exhibition that tells a multitude of stories about design objects and the lives they have entered.

Faced with the current crisis, I am very happy that we are finding new ways of engaging with audiences and continuing the discussion around design and its value in the lives of everyone.

I am grateful to all the participants who have given their time, talent and enthusiasm, taking part in the project’s online photography workshop and experimenting at home before submitting their contributions. It is impressive that people have risen to the challenge and achieved such good results, knowing that for many this is the first photographic exhibition that they will have taken part in.

I would like very much to thank Stephen Morris for devising and delivering the online photography workshop and editing the selected images to the best effect, Jean-Paul Metzger for formulating the idea of this initiative and creating the online display on our website, and Julia Donnelly for overseeing and coordinating the project - the first (and doubtless not last) of its kind on the KSC's exhibition calendar.

Enjoy your visit.

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