Finding my voice…

A short project to explore the journals’ archive in library (or online), find our own voice and in which published journal it might be most fitting.


Being subscribed to a few ceramic journals and magazines, and generally looking through all the other ones on regular basis, I wanted to take this opportunity further and find more publications that would relate to my work better; better than our standard, static and very much craft oriented ceramic publications.

Although, the ‘Ceramics Subject Guide’ is very good and comprehensive overview on the subject specific resources the library can provide, ceramics is not only about Ceramic Review, craft, and pottery.
Therefore, I wanted to look beyond that and find something more helpful, exciting and fitting for my practice. The ‘Fine Art Subject Guide’ was an excellent place to start and gather more broad journals within the art subject. Apollo, Turps Banana or Tate Etc. and Raw Vision provided much better inspiration within sculpture, painting, performance and curation. Some of them featured artists working predominantly with clay or similar ideas to me of abstraction and nature, but even providing articles on specifically ceramic subject, such as “The Potter’s Progress” article in Apollo presenting the significant role of studio pottery in the development of modern art in Britain.

However, the best discovery was accidental. While searching for the journal “Bomb” listed in the Fine Art Guide I stumble across the beautiful publication “Bloom – a horti-cultural view”. Created in 1998 and published twice a year, it explores trends in areas such as fashion, design, photography or food relating to horticulture and nature itself. It is a very unusual publication, but one that large number of people could relate to from students, professionals in art, craft, design, to retail or just a passersby enchanted by the visual delights of the magazine.
It is visually rich with minimal text and no advertisement to distract the viewer from the experience. It covers traditional themes behind nature-inspired craft or design to more intriguing photographs and art exploring and experimenting with ideas relating to or somehow deriving from natural world.

Ceramics and craft is always included, same as art, exploring ideas and intricacies from natural world, often through abstract work rather than plain representation.

 

Another mention would be our local CCQ which I’m subscribed to and would love to find myself one day. Culture Colony Quarterly “focus is on the contemporary arts and their many contexts, particularly international practice and projects”, but puts same importance to the local scene. Therefore I can find beautiful visual content same as in depth writing on international events I visited such as the Venice Biennial, but also another look at ” stiwdio/lle studio/place” exhibition at the Bay Art Gallery in Cardiff or interview with Lone Taxidermist whose music performance we are going to experience at Arnolfini in Bristol and “[in] cracked reflection of Grayson Perry’s acclaimed exhibition, we’re raiding Arnolfini with our loved-fueled provocative party for the outsiders.”

 

 

 

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Summer Project presentation and Manifesto

Presenting summer research, and Manifesto which should lead my work through the last year of BA.


 

We were fortunate enough to visit the Venice Biennale and see the art of the world. It was an exciting opportunity to learn and critically compare my own work. I could see many shared interest and I could position myself within the sculptural/installation type of work.
The French pavilion (by Xavier Veilhan) was fun, exploring the recording/artist studio and live architecture as a sculpture. Teamwork and desire for collaboration was one of the main pillars. This was highlighted by inviting over 100 different musicians to bring the pavilion to life using the instruments, some of them part of the building, which itself was inspired by additive and intuitive modes of construction.

The British Pavilion (by Phyllida Barlow) was my favourite with explosion of monumentally vast objects challenging preconceived ideas of sculpture. Domineering, bulging, they take over the space where the visitor has to pick their own way around and through a sculptural labyrinth.
However, the still have a distinctive human presence evident in their creation, with simple grey colour reminiscent of modern human built, offset with everyday bright colours.

Japanese Pavilion (by Takahiro Iwasaki) was great fusion of disorder that still embodies a sense of principle that is reminiscent in the nature, with his craft-like work that traverses the worlds of the micro and macro.

I shared the most ideas with the Danish Pavilion whose “Theatre of the Dark” was calling for the acceptance of impermanence, the unknown, and transformation as a natural part of growth, through light and spoken word performance in the dark.
The second part of the pavilion was a garden within a building with stripped down walls and windows with no limits between inside and outside, culture and nature, art and the world.


 

It brings me to the core of my art practice where everything exists so to interacts with everything.
We are born to interact with our mothers and the world around us, as the world will constantly interact with us, and with itself.

I’m especially interested in our interactions with nature, which evolved into elaborate experience of the garden, park or field where the nature is cultivated, grafted, curated and edited within a restricted space. Very similar to how our development and lives are guided by the space and society we live in.

I use additive and intuitive method of hand building, as if helping the clay to grow, leaving the marks of the interchange with clay visible, as tree rings are the evidence of environment interacting with the tree’s growth.
I want to develop a very physical and material language that doesn’t need to be translated, and explore ideas between this natural order and disorder, minuscule and monumental, within and through, systems and environments.

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.

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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Freddie Robins

Freddie transforms the craft of knitting and textiles into conceptual art where her peculiar life-sized bodies challenge the notion of normality and conformity. 
“She uses knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition, more recently exploring and expressing intimate feelings of sadness, fear and loss.”


Freddie captures my interest not only in her peculiar and fun wool sculptures, but her eccentric and playful personality.
I wish I could express this side of my character in my work more too.
Freddie’s work is full of bright colour with vivid narrative and context.

It’s highly figurative as her concerns cycle around the human condition, domesticity and gender; an issues I’m mostly interested to explore.

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Styllou – 22 1/2 hours 
 Ground Floor, 11 South Hill Park, Hampstead, London – 1954

Her project ‘Knitted Homes of Crime’ depicts a number of wool houses where a female killer would have lived or committed their crimes.
It plays beautifully on the ideas of domesticity: with the domestic aspect of textiles and activity of knitting, the container – house and femininity associated with housewives; but destroys it with the narrative and context where safety,certainty of containment is exchange with danger, uncertainty and rejection.

This juxtaposition and contradiction is the way I tried to lead my work and context, and still add as much process learning and exploration of clay and ceramics as possible.

I also used textiles as my starting medium, but then translated it into ceramic and played with the functionality of a tea-set, a very domestic object, and used it to narrate and express feelings of containment, or rather its absence.

 

Continue reading Freddie Robins

Eve Hesse

American Abstract Impressionist sculptor, who would emigrate with her family from Nazi torn Germany as a very young girl.
When spending a year back in Germany, she had to use her ingenuity and creativity to create expressive sculptures from found material in disused German factor, where later materials such as latex, fibreglass and plastic become her characteristic elements throughout her work.


Her creativity and playfulness in usage of these unconventional materials fascinates me, and that’s where I would like to strive. It’s very minimal approach of exhibiting, which subtly suggest ideas behind human condition – in its sexuality and naturality distanced from conventional nature, repetition, connectivity, or failing to find satisfying amount of meaning.

I want to strive for more playful usage of other materials with ceramics, as I managed in Tea for Two, and stay within the subject of human condition and philosophy, as that is what art means for me.

Continue reading Eve Hesse