Toshinobu Takamitsu is an artist blacksmith and craftsman who runs a studio and craft shop named ‘Open Studio’ in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Toshinobu is visiting Northern Ireland’s R-Space Gallery as part of a month long residency entitled “Weaving Metal, Making Art” where he will illuminate the gallery with his large scale audio-visual installations.
Toshinobu Takamitsu is an artist blacksmith and craftsman who runs a studio and craft shop named ‘Open Studio’ in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. After learning design in college, he studied glass blowing in the UK and became a successful glassware maker. Later, he studied blacksmithing in the US, and began making wood stoves and other iron products.
Toshinobu then focused his attention on the brooms used for cleaning the stoves made with his own unique way of weaving. He thus began creating brooms using all sorts of objects to act as rods including the neck of stringed instruments, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and pool cues.
He learned how to tie and dye the thread used to hold the corn grass together from his wife, a professional weaver. In the future, he hopes to establish a school that will make learning product-making techniques more accessible.
Toshinobu Takamitsu will collaborate with local artist-blacksmith Eamonn Higgins (Belfast) and sonic artist Matthew Whiteside (Lisburn/Glasgow), to create new works throughout the residency including “Ocean” which will transform the gallery into the bottom of a dark and quiet sea by covering a whole wall with light, filtered through Japanese paper to evoke a feeling of the ocean complete with wind, wave, swell, bubbles and mysterious floating objects.
The second lighting installation “Volcano” will feature a new audio composition by sonic artist Matthew Whiteside, to create a dynamic representation of a volcano with pulsating magma, vibrating and beating and likely to explode at any moment.
Eamonn Higgins will be hosting a series of blacksmithing workshops throughout the month allowing people to engage with this exciting artistic practice.
Opens : Saturday 26th April – 2pm – 4pm
Artist Talk : Saturday 26th April 3pm
Ends : 17th May 2014.