Coming up to the end of my degree show set up what is crucial for myself is how I compositionally arrange my objects to not only work together effectively but conceptually set the atmosphere and theme of the primordial, relationship and language and how ultimately all these elements can create material symbiotics.
Can specific arrangements speak a certain language ? can they ‘set the stage’ for conversation ?. By beginning to look at this low plinth as a stage it allows myself to look upon this composition as a story, why are certain objects grouped together and what does this necessarily mean ? for myself a lot of these arrangments hold highly personal yet subliminal memory – from the arrangement of small girders holding vestige to early experiences of materiality with regards to my dad as a builder and my experiences of building sights to the small arrangement of decorative rocks holding vestige to more recent times down in Penarth.
For myself, this low stage sets the story of a timeline, my own personal and tactile experiences with materiality and form.
Above are rock forms I sculpted from Ash clay when fired the rocks will appear white. The reason for sculpting these forms are because it is something that I would automatically indicate as ‘primal’. I wanted the rocks to appear to have a man-made or hand intervention, hence this reappearing cubist formation on the surface. I want the viewer to question the objects. Are they rocks and why ?.
In modern society, I believe it becomes hard to differentiate what is primitive and what is not because we live in a time of technology, beyond the time of modern. Is a rock more primitive than a brick? if so why?.I feel this is a conditioning. The belief that a rock is more primitive than a brick because rocks are more natural and were there first, but does this make it more primitive ?.
As I learnt from Nao Matsunaga this not necessarily important, the idea that my sculptures adhere to the same values, materiality and subjectivity are what makes them similar, and further important. This is important for creating a bridge between past, present and ultimately primitive, allowing me to sculpt and create objects that I feel to maintain and stand bold, .. primal.
For the end of the 1st term a selection of the third year fine artists across multiple disciplines, myself included decided to put on an exhibition in the centre of cardiff at the Abacus. The exhibition composed of a 3 day residency allowing the public to come in and talk to us about the work we are and were producing down in the centre of the city.
for the exhibition i decided to create and present some of the ‘conduit’ sculptures i have been working on, pushing the boundaries of my abilities in ceramics and particularly slab building.What was particularly important to me was the location in which i exhibited my sculptures and that they were presented together, this was inspired by the Morison’s sight specific sculpture I previously looked into . I decided to exhibit my sculptures within the back of an old bank vault. I thought this worked incredibly well due to the raw brutality of the space, the fact the bank vault was un-useable was particularly interesting to me, the vaults main purpose of protection is penetrated, rendering it obsolete. This idea of ‘fragility’ for me is incredibly fascinating, and is further why I wanted my sculptures together to stand strong in the fragility of the vault. Much like the inside of a termite mound is riddled with conduits and tunnels so now was the vault, unlike the mounds the vault was”exposed” .
The space was surrounded by rubble and i used this to my advantage having the sculptures submerged within and around it as if the sculptures were rising from the rocks – primitive in nature, the vault stands as a rendition for the modern ruin.
To view my work you had to peer through a dry wall hole, this was particularly important due to the lack of light and echoing it created, the lack of light for me added to the atmosphere of the installation creating an eery allure of the unknown, yet honest representation.
The fact you had to peer down to look into the hole and at my sculptures fitted perfectly with my concept of the ‘inside out’, the idea that the work was hidden yet open in plain sight, further extended the concepts that allude my bamana boli series, an ongoing theme.
The general installation itself was very sight specific and this is something i want to continue to explore further next term, refining and defining my conduits and further the concepts that allude the primal experience and identity. how I can use the space around the sculptures to cohere to my concepts? And how can I really represent myself through these objects ?.
Coming back around to the Bamana Boli i cast and covered my vessel with concrete cohering to the material context of my experiences i.e my dad as a builder and the materials i would associate with ‘raw art’ and art at an early age. the material may not be something that i personally used from an early age but is one of my first real experiences of art.
For me concrete has been an incredibly has been a difficult unforgiving material and i have really struggled to use it due to rapid drying and gritty nature of it. concrete for me although a relit overly modern and new material retains a raw primitiveness, it holds and retains a brutish practility. I feel as previously asserted my association of concrete as primitive is due to that of ‘raw early experience of art’. For me the object has gone from something modern primitive to a modern relic,something that looks like it has been obtained from rubble, an old contemporary cinderblock.
It leads me to question ‘Can something that is new be classified as an artefact/relic or primitive ?’, and further answer – as previously asserted the primitive is a state of mind, a consciousness. consciousness cannot be classified by time therefore the primitiveness of an object can only be justified and classified by the aesthetics and cultural association of that object.
For me the object is more structural and stronger conceptually when compared to my pervious models, it is a demonstration of a material that i would associate with my past and past to present to create something raw but new, a more defined modern primitive.
Further for my Gap Crit i decided to use one of my plaster cast bones silhouetted against my Boli, due to the material and primitive context both objects have with my identity and experiences, further the unnatural processes each one has undertaken coherent to Allan mccollum’s – ‘natural copies’.
I further provided a small stand and artificial lighting to mimic the i setting of the museum context, by putting the objects in this artificiality it for me manipulates and tricks the viewer into associating the objects to be that of ‘relics’ or museum curiosities, I belle this is because of the hardwired association we have with the gallery portrayal of artefacts. By using a tall plinth it raises the object higher than the viewer, the light focuses upon the object forcing our glare solely to the objects, it separates myself and everyone in the room and ourselves towards the objects.
carrying on forward from my dissertation i have decided to base an investigation around primal experiences, developing and refining my thoughts. Primal experiences being experiences i have had from the early experiences of art or ‘raw art’, from watching my dad build and going on site to exploring the forest of dean, my primal experiences are that of my own subconscious and experiences of art at a young age – artistic influences that have alluded myself. Further using ‘primitive’ forms of art work such as cave man and early ice age to represent this impulsion, this is because early foundations of primitive art work such as cave man hold no jurisdiction or ties to any culture because every culture can adopt and claim it as their own, being undefined puts the primitive for me in a sense of identity crisis or lost identity, a longing towards a penultimate whole, a specific culture. As a being i can similarly sympathise, being half german/ Hungarian living in Gloucestershire and having roots spreading across eastern europe i find it difficult to adopt one certain culture as my own as so many iconic cultures allude my heritage, this is why i have decided to convey my experiences through primitive art work using it as a vestige for my experiences.
I am Representing what i perceive as my primal experiences through a combination of my heritage, personal past and the primitive, exploring material related to concept to define and explore some form of penultimate whole or identity in modern society, looking back at the past to understand the present and further myself as an individual.