The Growing Exhibition at InkSpot for Made in Roath, Cardiff

A week of site specific building, challenging my skills and technique for hand building.
Organising and invigilating an exhibition as part of a local, contemporary arts festival.


We had an amazing opportunity, a seed planted by Natasha’s interaction with Made in Roath and Potclays, to participate at this year’s festival of local arts – Made in Roath.

My work from last year fitted best in the staircase area, not only due to not fitting in the cabinets, but the transitory nature of the space.
At the end I decided to build in there too due to the space being more outdoor than indoor, or something in between, and a space that needed some cultivation.

A small gap next to the stairs was really the only safe, unused space to build on, after clearing some stuff away. I kept a small table without the top in there, to give me some instant hight to the build as well as a shape, a seedling to start with. The shape was really influenced by the awkward space and an object already present. As it creeped through the site, it changed; adapted and explored the environment with the maker and the viewer.

We haven’t had many visitors over the week, and due to the awkward position of my live build and small sculptures, many people missed it.
However, when I was building there I could welcome straight away all the visitors coming, the kids loved how the live build looked like a horse, and few of my small sculptures/glaze test pieces have been stolen (I’m taking it as a compliment).

 

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Mission Gallery (23)

The last location we ventured upon independently, during our Wunderkammer Field, was a small local, South Welsh gallery in Swansea. 
It was interesting to see carefully curated, poetic and colourful contemporary exhibition by Anne Gibbs, in a small, intimate, local venue dedicated to art and contemporary craft; compare to big, nationally (or even internationally) renown museums, galleries and collections we seen on our travels.
It refocused our attention on our (now very informed) practice, and how it could fit within the big world, or even the small local one.


The Manchester Museum (17)

Extra visit while on our way walking in Manchester.
It was an interesting museum, with exciting, extensive and educational exhibits on environmental issues.
Interactive experiences with few handling tables/stations, and indoor zoo/live animal exhibits including devastating examples of our human activity and industry on the planet.


 

The Hunterian Museum, London – Wunderkammer Field Presentation

A presentation of our allocated museums, on their core collections and collectors, ethos, organisation, curation, architecture, history and context.
I was allocated the Hunterian Museum in London, within the Royal College of Surgeons’ Headquarters.


I was glad I got to research deeply and digest data on a scientific based collection. My fascination was quickly directed to the strong ethos of careful observation and objective scientific method, that led John Hunter to collect around 15,000 specimens.
This approach, and the exhibits themselves, helped him to make a number of breakthroughs in medical surgery, which the curation of the museum reflects.

During my presentation, straight after the presentation on another science based collection of Wellcome Foundation, a deep conversation on ethics emerged.
The collection itself, as well as how some of the artefacts were acquired, raised questions on what is appropriate in art, medicine and science.
The exhibiting of the objects, human parts, in a public museum setting requires special attention, that’s why the ban of photography in Hunterian Museum.

2D Museum visit – Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

For our first session in the Cardiff Museum we were asked to redefine the Second Dimension, using an extract from “Phenomenology of Perception” by French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty as well as an object from the museum, to help us define and back up our definition.
This definition should be then connected to my subject – Ceramics.


Logo for Treasures exhibitionI took the chance to see the new exhibition “Treasures: Adventure in Archeology”, and when reading the text few interesting points came out to me, and somehow I could see a connection with the exhibition, new ideas and definitions for ‘2D’ were emerging.

The exhibition on archeology, and archeology itself is my object/subject from the museum, as it’s trying to compress multidimensional (time, space, humans, stories, events, lives, …) into 2D form, behind a glass, trying to show the invisible/transparent relationships between the objects, events… and link it/direct it at a thinking individual in another dimension, in a specific time and place.

So my definition for second dimension looks like a phenomenal glass to look at past where objects and events,  time and space overlap, creating/revealing new images or angles, in relation to the observer, which is me, a person, again at specific time and place, looking at the same objects, just aged.

This reminded me slightly of Flatland, being in 2D, you can only see the lines.
Timelines.

From the text I circled certain sentences that I was able to understand and which helped me create the definition. It spoke about knowledge and transparent relationships, between history and perceived objects, which in my opinion spoke exactly about archeology. The text also tried to position us and our consciousness as a subject, having an important role.

To link it to ceramics is simple. Ceramic is the 3D 2D timeline of time and space.

Another definition could be how we perceive the world around us. Most the time we perceive the objects and events around us in 1D, just absorbing the sensual stimuli with our body but not thinking about it or even noticing it fully.
However, when we look at an object with our gaze, an inner reflective eye and start thinking, applying our experiences, thoughts and phenomenal layers, we see an subject in a 2D, possibly 3D when more layers of meaning and seeing are in play.
Our brain, mind is a prism that changes the 1D world around us into multidimensional realm of endless points of view, possibilities and meanings.

More ideas that emerged from this exercise, which could be possibly explore:
Preservation – mummifying – 2D – second life
2 overlapping ideas, objects, feelings, create a new possibility.
Second dimension is the space between boundaries, and when the inside of something becomes the outside, revealing the transparent space of a boundary from completely different angle.

Into the Fold – Harriet McCarmick

At this week’s ‘Into the Fold’ lectures, a recent MA Ceramics graduate presented her Degree work, future plans, Fireworks studios and participation at exhibition at ‘Made in Roath’


Harriet McCarmick is interested in investigation and using natural elements such as deer antlers, legs, feathers; as well as taxidermy, and translating all of this into ceramics, through abstracted forms.
These then acquire metamorphic, and narrative qualities – with help of using colour, shape, position and light.
Through this she questions how objects are perceived in space, and impact on the visual connections with natural world.

2D, sketchbook work was always important to her, and in MA, colour starts to creep into her work.20151016_12381320151016_124111
She is creating cast for all her objects, and casting using stained slip, never any glaze, but fires them slightly higher for her distinctive finish.


Harriet’s career in ceramics started when she missed her interview for Fine Art course, and came to the BA Ceramics at CSAD instead. She then stayed for her MA and now she is part of the Graduate Residency at the Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff.
Exhibiting her MA work in September, she is trying to exhibit as much as possible, setting up a gallery with other MA graduates at the Made in Roath festival.
Her ambition is PHD and possibly lecturing in the future, which I hope will be a success as I found her lecture and work very captivating.

It’s a great inspiration listening to a successful and interesting recent graduate, with a such great body of work, sketchbook pages and explorational journey.