Wrapping up the 2nd year study and showing development through key stages in Ideas, Skills, and Context.
Video from the presentation:
My presentation for March Formative Assessment, highlighting key points of development from beginning of our main SUBJECT project – Connections and Object(ions), and reflection on the Ken Stradling Collection.
Returning from FIELD module, it shows the significant creative impact it had on my SUBJECT.
Wednesday workshop was great opportunity to test the waters in a different medium.
Trying to explore ideas from Subject, but to make the process simpler I created more abstract, simpler growth objects.
We had to create our objects-to-cast in polystyrene, which has rather unpleasant quality when trying to achieve more smooth, clean surface. I tried to work with its qualities and let it melt, or show the individual bubbles for more visceral textures.
Roots, carrots, protrusions, limbs, fibres, pods, pips, are the natural features I was going for. I wanted to create them to see how they will work together with ceramics, part of an installation perhaps.
From creating the sand cast, it seemed like I’m digging out these buried fossils.
Opening the cast, the casted objects really looked like some natural root growth, connected in a network of aluminium channels.
Even the black burned sand trapped in the cavities I had to clean was like soil.
Coming from Field, I was reminded of how much I actually enjoy sculpture and the synthesis of ideas within three-dimensional installation.
I went ahead with building and sketching.
Experiences from both of my fields were inspirational to the extend that they changed my work in this year’s project completely. From direct, tight, designed and functional tableware to more broad look across the art fields (illustration, sculpture, graphic design, historical collections, etc.), and practical explorations of the ideas through more fun and experimental, sculptural exploration.
The colours and animistic features of the Penguin Donkey, my catalyst object from the Ken Stradling Collection, are still present, but now I’m more free to explore ideas around containment, storage and systems that classify and order the stuff and things that they embody.
Initial sketches, inspired by Angus Suttie’s colourful and imaginative ceramic alterations and surrealist’s game of ‘exquisite corpse’ of not really knowing what will happen next, a kind of system of order and dis-order.
3. 4. two cabinet like structures which were faster to create and explore notion of space and system repetition.
Our 2 day trip to the Harley Gallery and Studios, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Centre of Ceramic Art within York Art Gallery.
An immerse and deep exploration of British Studio Pottery: from meeting practitioners, to the curators, collectors and archivers.
With over 5 500 ceramic artefact, CoCA is a waste collection and resource of ceramic practice in the UK. Its important work is to tell the stories of significant artists, potters and/or makers working with clay, and their collectors.
It’s to the generosity of The Very Reverend Dean Eric Milner-White, W.A. Ismay, Henry Rothschild and Anthony Shaw that this public collection can showcase the most complete story of British studio ceramics.
1) As we live in wold of big data, there is so much information in our world, so many products, ideas, concepts and data created every day, we can’t possibly see and experience most of them.
Growing in importance, it is curator’s job to digest, choose, present and restrict the flow of information, same as collectors who’s collections are exhibited and studied, they can direct our tastes and presences.
But as we discovered, not all creators has to have money or influential position to exert this kind of power. It’s more about dedication, passion, and confidence in own decision.
But they must bee influenced too, in the never ending network of constant selecting and rejecting.
Curators’ job is more to select and digest already existing collections, within a public institution with public collections, or as with CoCA, private collections donated for public use.
I was very delighted by the refreshing connections of classical fine art paintings and contemporary ceramic art/craft. …
“Like other forms of art, its [curation’s] function is not the restoration of context of origin but rather the creation of a new context.” (S. Stewart, Objects of Desire)
2) As to the extensive network of people guiding and presenting what we see, David Clarke tries to understand material culture as a system with subsystems.
David describes 5 main subsystems:
“These five subsystems headings are transparently based on the prejudices of current opinion, underlining their arbitrary nature,”
“A static and schematic model of the dynamic equilibrium between the subsystem networks of a single sociocultural system and its total environment system”.
As all the 4 private collectors basically knew each other and hugely influenced one-another , their collection can’t be called vast and comprehensive.
3) A carefully curated domestic space, exhibited within a public gallery space was rather exciting to see, comparing that most collections are displayed in museum settings behind glass. It showed individual’s taste in it’s most natural state. Such display inspired new ways of curating our own spaces, as well as giving more attention to the aesthetics of the ceramic objects.
Anthony Shaw as the latest contributor with his collection of contemporary ceramics that still grows, actually did bring new direction and feel within the overall collection.
I liked his opinion, and it was rather motivating, that makers should predominantly work true to themselves, rather than try to adapt to the market and try to figure out what people want.
But then the curators and influential collectors should guide people’s taste better, for more progressive and supportive directions, beneficial for the makers.
4) Psychology of collecting, as an addition to functional and decorative
Although I feel CoCa’s collection is rather biased and mostly showing similar single direction and aesthetics of ceramic practice, I’m happy that there’s the curational discussion and openness to innovate. With the domestic display of Anthony Shaw’s collection, or pairing object from rather dissimilar practices and timeframes to stimulate new ways of looking and discussing, there’s an interesting progression for innovation.
Interpreting Objects and Collections; Susan M. Pearce; 1994
Photographs, Museums, Collections Between Art and Information; E. Edwards and C. Morton; 2015
Centre of Ceramic Art an introduction; Helen Walsh; York Museum Trust
The Anthony Shaw Collection
The aspects of Ken Stradling Collection that captured my attention on our first visit.
As You can probably see, I was rather drawn towards orange.
I was already unintentionally seeking some kind of containers; influenced by my project from first year as well as some ideas I was exploring over summer as a homework.
I’m really glad I discovered these themes in a very different form – furniture, and would like to explore furniture and the domestic setting in my practice.
It was actually very easy to find links and different objects relating someways in their colour, material, form or function; exploring and extending the themes in the small time and space within the Collection.
I was able to find examples that interested me in textile, ceramics, sculpture, toys or wood. At the end, I couldn’t escape the nature of Ken Stradling Collection, and a lot of the objects I chose to photograph had some form of playfulness, with tiny feet or wonky feet to moveable toys and animated animals.