My Wunderkammer Collection

My collection gathered while visiting collections and museums across the UK with the Wunderkammer Field project.
The ideas and context behind it.


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A collage of a selection from my cake collection.

Before starting our travels across the country, I decided to scrutinise the catering facilities of each of the establishments we would visit, through a quick review of cakes – their taste, texture, etc., but also the ideas behind them, the presentation, and the context – of the environment, museum, company, etc.

Classical museums were hardly built with cafes as one if its main attraction points, or hardly even included in the architecture.
However, they became the hearth of museums and galleries, which not only soothe the thirst for knowledge, but the more bodily needs too. For most visitors, cafe experience in museums is as essential as seeing the fossils and dinosaurs, learning facts about coal, playing around with electronic interactive exhibits, or seeing Rodin’s Kiss.

I like sugar. I like fat. I’m human and therefore interesting in consuming, but I’m also interested in seeing how I’m consuming art, information and knowledge, and how they effect each other, and how I remember the experiences while visiting museums and galleries on this Field trip.

Ratings of museums on Google Maps are largely influenced by the cafe experience, with as many words and photographs, if not more, dedicated to cafe – its staff, menu, cleanness, presentation or price and value.


Nevertheless, I feel that my enjoyment of the cakes had no influence on how I enjoyed and seen the art and collections.
I felt rather lost and uninspired in the Whitworth, Manchester, but their cafe was magnificent, with the highest rated cakes.

There’s a great distance from the cafe experience and museums, they don’t influence or interact with each other much, other that the medium of blood, as when my sugar levels drop I feel distracted and couldn’t concentrate.

However, there’s one aspect, and that is the feeling of welcome. I did feel more welcomed in the museum where I could slow down, reflect and satisfy my tastebuds.
I think I would order my collection by how welcomed the whole experience made me feel in the museum or gallery, not by the taste test (as all of them were comparatively good).

The Wellcome Collection, Cardiff Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum and St Fagans would be on first place, as their cafes are located in very central location of the establishment, with at least some exhibits or artworks displayed around. With the St Fagans it was even more special as you enjoyed themed food, technically within the exhibition object/relic, while experiencing history and tradition.

Ashmolean Museum, Birmingham Museum?, The Hepworth Wakefield, YSP?, The Whitworth or Manchester Gallery were rather disjointed from the rest of the building and collections, making the whole experience less wholesome.

At the other end, such as Hunterian Museum, had no cafe and you felt rather alienated as the building’s main purpose was to house the Royal College of Surgeons, not you as a visitor; or the Soane’s Museum where limited space restricted the maximum visitors and their time in.

Statements of Intentions

Subject

Coming from the innovative furniture piece of Penguin Donkey as my catalyst object from the Ken Stradling Collection, created for the revolutionary paperback Penguin books; I want to follow the trajectory of mass production of good design for good value, available to masses, with rich context provided through the ethos of Penguin books.
I want to learn and explore the  industrial processes involved in ceramic production such as technical drawing, prototype making, lathe and whirling, slip casting, CNC, etc. Looking at pure and simple functionalism, with elements drawn from the Penguin Donkey and classical Modernist designs, features including soft curves, long legs and layered plywood.

Exploring the colour scheme dominated by warm reds and mostly orange, I want to explore social ideals and directions, as another layer to the objects. With it the repetition, and presence of body within a space, and repetition relating to identity and individuality within, and its composition/curation.

I feel I want to explore these ideas through more experimental and sculptural work as well, to guide the functional design and possibly challenge preconceptions of functionalism and the processes used. This also extends the ideas and processes I’ve been through with my Public Art Field.
As my professional practice, I’m organising structural work experience, possibly in an area of selling ceramics and its industry, or teaching and providing workshops, or museums and curation as linked to our project brief.


Technical

For my technical I want to take the opportunity of exhibiting in the new Craft Gallery of Saint Fagans, and create an educational and innovative way of looking at colour through ceramics, in particularly through slips and stains.
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I would join the effort with Morgan Dowdall, so we could produce more spectacular collage presenting colours in slips, in as fun and engaging way possible.
For now we would divide the colour wheel into warm and cold halves, with me exploring the warm spectrum: from warm Greens to Yellow, Reds through warm Purples. screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-02-21-09

This will contribute to my Subject project further exploring slips, its colours and colour combinations through layering.


http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.htm

Penguin mugs, Grayson Perry and Douglas Coupland

Appropriation of Penguin Books’ design and its symbolical use within art.


The distinctive, horizontal blocks of colour and text within as a cover design of Penguin’s paperbacks, proved so iconic that its appropriation on a simple utilitarian ceramic mug became highly popular merchandise.

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In Grayson’s Perry “The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal” (2012), a monumental piece of tapestry from his series, he is using these mugs as a social class symbol, and the movement through classes.
“On the table is a still life demonstrating the cultural bounty of his affluent lifestyle”. Together with the French press, car keys with Damien Hirst like skull keychain, local organic jam, fresh vegetables on the Guardian newspapers or the raw wood table they are all placed on, they are the symbols, the style-creators of aspirational middle classes.
They represent an aspiration for wealth of knowledge as well as monetary wealth, success and domestic nostalgia.

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Douglas Coupland is another artist, and novelist appropriating the Penguin Books in his collages, and text based visual art, blurring the boundaries of art and literature.

This collage of “Jet Boy Jet Girl”, a song name stuck as vinyl stencils onto Penguin Book titles such as “Two Adolescents” by Alberto Moravia.
The punk song by Elton Motello about 15 years old boy’s lust and sexual relationship with an older man adds another complexity to the bluring of bounderies.

The ‘correct’ place for people within their social class or sexuality is challenged, and the nature and freedom of movement between them explored.

If I want it or not, appropriating the Penguin Books or the Penguin Donkey in my work will have significant impact on the context it carries.


https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/the-annunciation-of-the-virgin-deal/DgHzNHCbRZyjLw

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/jet-boy-jet-girl/CQHy-8Vm-UsLHg

Exploring Collections – Summer Project

Summer project exploring and finding different forms of collection.


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3D Museum visit – Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal

Another session at the Cardiff Museum involved a search for definition of Third Dimension, with an extract from The Optical Unconscious by Rosalind Krauss.

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After reading the text and trying to imagine what 3D could define, some initial ideas rise:

  1. a layer not visible to a quick perception, glance.
  2. basic emotions that interact and mix, creating new sensations and emotional balance.
  3. procreation, preservation, destruction.
  4. the most familiar world to us.


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Last Punch of the Clock by David Garner 2009

The familiarity of life in 3D and the cycle of procreation~preservation~destruction as well as their non-existential boundaries.
The text talks about the mot common dimension, and foreground being also background or the top being the bottom, erasing the perceptions of boundaries. The image speaks of destruction in preservation as gushing winds are sweeping through the landscape, people trying to keep the flying circular object (a planet?) (with the man) from flying away, them being entangled and their freedom restricted.

The “Last Punch of the Clock” talks about the familiar, 3D cycle of life, as the clocks themselves. The punch card are being destroyed, to preserve the record of procreation/work, which destroys the body of the worker which then allows to procreate itself.

Ceramic is very much about preservation (archeological significance, writing tablets, contains, or stores) through procreational but at the same time destructive powers of fire and heat.

In all cases, procreation, preservation and destruction are essential parts of our life and world, the 3D of our 3D world, interlinked and in ever-changing cycle.

Field: External Collaboration – Week II

Final week of collaboration with other subjects, creating and presenting our proposal of manifestation of our group manifesto.


After presenting our manifestos last week, we were asked to now manifest our group manifesto into an object, intervention, zine, poster, or any way best suitable.

It needed to represent and show our ideas and directions of the manifesto to all students of CSAD, even the world.
The group went through all the activities that could show some points of our manifesto or enrich CSAD students’ lives, with proposals such as a feedback artwall, a sort of club room, a quiet space, a quiet room to work in, a new space to socialise. Everybody wanted to contribute with something, meeting multiple of needs, and we tried to include everyone.

To link it to the first group’s shared idea, my suggestion was a garden, and to represent the point of art existing in its own realm and the hardship of making art as well as ever changing nature of it, an ambitious dome enclosing a different world a tropical paradise, would show the idea to the point.

Between the buildings of CSAD
Empty paved space between the 2 CSAD buildings

The dome garden could even house all the other ideas, making a new, shared centre for the 2 separate CSAD buildings. The empty paved space needs to be improved and be more inspiring anyway.
The new ‘Hearth Space’ would also include a new reception, cafe, gallery space as well as the first ideas.
There was plenty options to

Back of CSAD
Proposed space for my garden dome.

explore and visualise, prepare for our Monday tutorial and presentation on Tuesday.
We all decided to explore and work on one aspect of the new shared community space, with me exploring further the garden which would be at the rare side of the new space.

Set with the ideas, I took number of photos of the space so I could print them, draw and create collages of the proposed dome.20160215_143811
This proved trickier than expected, I had difficulties with perspective and drawing the dome realistically onto the paper. Collage was a better option, but it showed more of the impression of the idea.
I tried to blow some soap bubbles to see how they would adapt to the space around. The

Blowing bubbles to see how the dome could adapt to the already standing building.

metal boxes represent the 2 buildings, with the smaller one in the middle the new space that would include activities and ideas of other group members. My dome garden, or bubble would be at the end of the new building.

I wanted to imagine, and show the idea more realistically, ideally even walk around and in the space, so computer software was the only option. As it was a very quick project, with many more ongoing I had no time to install and learn some new, professional software, therefore I went for the most easiest and accessible option: Minecraft.
Not the most ideal, but the best and certainly most fun option in this scenario. It was again just a draft impression rather then design with correct perception and sizes, but this time it was possible to walk around and go in, even fly over, giving at least some idea of the viewer’s interaction with the space.

A model of the new Heart Space and complete indoor garden in Minecraft.

As we had tutorial on Monday, I had to prepare all my ideas and visualisations for presenting to the group and tutors.

My Dome proposal
My board for our tutorial.

Continue reading Field: External Collaboration – Week II

Field: External Collaboration – Week I

Exploring ideas behind Manifestos and creating our own one, in a group of student from across the whole CSAD.
Stimulating discussion and ideas with Ladybird Books postcards and creating a cake to represent our Manifesto


20160208_120430.jpgAfter an initial introduction to the External Collaboration part of our Field module, we were divided into a groups and handed a pack of postcards depicting book covers of classical children’s books published by Ladybird.
I ended up in a larger group of 6, with interesting and captivating people across the subjects, from Graphics, Fine Art and Illustration.
Choosing a card from the pack individually, depending on how it speaks to us and what ideas we can extract from the images.
I chose my one with the title “Garden Flowers” because I’m simply drawn to plants, have interest in caring for them and filling my living space with life, captured in their limiting plant pots.
However, the ideas that the image represented for me were even more interesting: speaking of a utopian life where the flowers have an abundance of resources, having an organism that takes care of all their needs and diseases. On the other hand, life of no choice, contained in set and limited space, in the mercy of the owner. Utopia is too close to dystopia. These ideas always make me thing of the heaven my parents often talk about. A perfect utopic place of NO sin and suffering; a place of no free will?

In fact almost all of us chose a card depicting nature, or animals; even a card “People at Work: the Postman” seemed to me like a snapshot of a creature in its everyday activities and habitat. This one interested me a lot from others, as it carried ideas around communication and work and how much these aspects of our lives changed in a generation, with the widespread usage of internet, and machines in workplace, etc.

After presenting the chosen cards to each other in the group, we had to chose one that could represented all of us, and present it with ideas arising to the whole class.
My group went with the “Garden Flowers” card I picked, as everyone was vaguely interested in nature, and I could talk about the card in depth, with ideas spreading around utopia-dystopia.


Grotesque inconsistencies – life Continue reading Field: External Collaboration – Week I