My Notes for the Crit
How to explain my work?The disconnection from linear relationships, the weird perspective of relationships in space not time, the absence of a binding glue?gel?idea?love?The absence of a relationship against the impossibility of self containment. Attempting to put things together in the absence of a binding sense. Building relationships between anything, consciously, in one dimension,or missing a dimension. Ticking all the boxes but not quite getting there. There is a disconnect.
Sometimes my life and my practice feels like a collection of beautiful beads, care shown to each day of but no string holding them together. In that sense, to find a starting point for my work is in a way counter to my work because it is counter to how my life is lived. Home is a starting point. I have no home.
An Anthropologist onMars, Oliver Sacks book about Temple Grandin springs to mind. If I was autistic that could be something to work with but I don’t think I am (thoughI could have picked it up form certain people… :D). It could be my hearing.
So I think of isolated objects…windowless sheds…disconnect and seperation between one unit and the next. The space between. Burned out, stripped, no lubrication. A disconnect to do with a misunderstanding how to build oneself. Leading back to isolation, an internal disconnect as the result of an external disconnect.
This phrase from Claire Bishops Artificial Hells comes up…’The Autonomous Realm of experience’. (Bishop p.40.)
I return to the idea of ‘jerry-building’ a person using vague instructions. Extrapolating instructions form observing..but not hearing…others…hearing with the eyes. A confusion.
Shonky. Perhaps use components in a shonky way?Picture frames built into a wonky tower…with a painting of a flower hanging off?
Boundaries in this way are an issue or a theme. Being unable to create them in real time, or in the right dimension resulting in incomplete or failed relationships. Boundaries, connections, disconnections. Broken phone. Cloth ears.
Craft is a tool perhaps for me, but not my media. Some artists learn a craft and communicate through that. I want to communicate with that. In part.
When I said my work was from a personal place I meant its from there and about there.
Is my work about the relationships between the space and the piece?One temporary, one permanent, one a process the other an object..?
I wonder why I need a starting point sometimes. Why I can’t build pieces the way an artist does a series of paintings. My 2017 pieces are a series for instance. They are just made in the space rather than a studio.
But what am I doing/saying with these pieces?
Exploring the relationship between an individual and the world via the tension between the piece and the space.
Exploring the tension between space and time.
Exploring interruption and destruction (of relationships, development) and adaptation and rebuilding.
Exploring the organic framework that exists between individuals and the absence of it…or the jerry-built nature of the one between damaged individuals?
Exploring isolation form the natural bonds…maybe the impossibilty of it?
Recreating the process of living, adapting, colllapsing, rebuilding.
Using the awkwardness of making to convey the process of development and adaptation.
Expressing the impossibility of self containment versus the impossibility of connection.
My making is a form of thinking.
Other artists statements can be a good source for inspiration
Kate Lepper–I read that her language is physical, colourful, humourous and I realise I have been getting my language confused with the thrust of my work or the framework of it.
Her practice is sympathetic to the expanded field of painting. She resists traditional painting hierarchies and sensible logic…in this way is she using the framework of traditional painting to make enquiries of boundaries?
She also explores theme of eco feminism and the confusion of personal development for eco activism…which is interesting in terms of my research paper.
I could test boundaries in sculpture and painting to reflect the testing of internal boundaries.
Have I been concentrating too much on the inside?Where I could also use outside frameworks and structures to reflect inner testing of boundaries and structures?
I say my stuff is personal because it is personally taking apart my inner processes…like self destruction, self deconstruction….which is OK. But I could use external processes and frameworks to reflect this?
Like building, painting structures, objects, sculpture..
Maybe I think too much.Maybe my making is a form of not thinking?Or thinking in a different, more restful way?
The Crit and Recommendations.
Well it was a good chat though sometimes I feel we are circling about my main themes, and not just me. There often seems to be advice to try things which I have already done or which are part of my work anyway. Then again maybe that is part of this deconstruction, it is necessary to re-evaluate, retread old paths.
I have been confusion my process/materials etc. i.e. confusing my language as the point of my work. I have been looking at the idea of Shonky – awkwardly made-art and the artists associated with it. Initially painting was mentioned as a possible jumping off point. We talked about how using something with its own identity-like furniture may muddy the work’s thrust but using e.g. the idea of a chair for a starting point might work.
I spoke about how interruption was a theme, how to convey that. Interruption in relationships, between objects. The relationship could also be across time as well as space, as in the history of art which the tutor stressed was important-which is interesting as it makes us all part of one organism of indviduals, yet connected. Sometimes this connection is interrupted even by time and may give birth to interesting forms.
We discussed the idea of using an object or an accidental interruption e.g. tree falling on house or an accidental gesture with materials as a starting point and then to repair this interruption. The Tutor said the idea of interruption alone is too small, to bring the history of the interruption into the process – which I like as it brings in my concerns with the process rather than the object…a journey in time rather than one point in time..and is reflected in the idea of an object (which is built in the collective unconscious over time) rather than the actual object.
Also the idea of remaking, repairing and incorporating are much more what I am thinking of I now realise than the interruption. Simon Starling’s Union where he repaired a streetlight designed by Joseph Plenik in Lublijana which had been broken by a beer bottle was mentioned also the care he used in incorporating the bottle with the lamp. Love this idea but pointed out I am more interested in sloppy process rather than carefulness but thats just a matter of tone I think…its the equality of the treatment of the materials is the point.
The tutor suggested my use of the word craft-which describes many different thing-is probably not accurate and that something like quality might be better. I like quality as it reflects Pirsigs ideas on quality in Zen & the Art of Motorcycle maintenance. The artist Fergus Fehily was also mentioned.
Recommendations & Plan.
To pick something, an idea or an object as a starting point. To not necessarily confine myself to one material e.g. timber. To clarify my starting point is more important than creating a finished piece right now. To experiment with the idea of interruption via a photo or a gestural interruption e.g. with materials as a starting point…to remake/repair something…or the idea of it as a starting point. To take the idea of an object as a starting point also take the idea of an interruption or an actual interruption and use it as a starting point for a work.
Bishop, Claire, Artificial Hells, London:Verso, 2011.
Sacks, Oliver, An Anthropologist on Mars, New York : Vintage, 1996.