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.
For myself something that I have always been interested in is print. More recently with my newly discovered ceramic passion, this is something I haven’t had the time to really play with.
My current prints are a chance to consider my ceramic sculptures and composition ideas from a printmakers angle – to capture The same concepts that allude my sculptures on paper, that of the relationship of texture, pattern colour and materiality and how ultimately all these factors relate to a primal instinct.
Developing my skills within composition has creatively opened my mind not only considering how sculpture can come together to create a language but print as well.
For my final exhibition, I have been struggling with how my work will finally be presented and how my composition will come together . Will I present my work on the floor ? one or two plinths? and what can the presentation conceptually bring forth ?.
Above you can see that I have tried to address these issues by testing my work out on the concrete floor of our studio. Personally, although I love the aesthetic the floor provides I feel the use of a plinth could be more effective due to a slight elevation raising the objects from the glossy concrete. I find this glossy element distracting for the sculptures thus the viewer.
Above are a selection of structures I created in response to Penarth, places and forms I have seen . These two structures are drawn from both Deacon and Penarth inspiration. What is important is how they ultimately sit, collaborate and create a language between all forms to distinguish what I would associate to be ‘primal’.
Choosing colour for the sculptures has been challenging. I decided to use textural surfaces and bold flat colours such as black and white to create a raw sensibility. The smaller sculptures, a cobalt blue – this is due to cobalt being that of an earthly element and thus for myself to retain a raw worth.
Featured above is a man-made rusted construction/form that I came across down at Penarth beach. What I find fascinating about the construction is how it coheres to these primitive qualities that I hold so contently. Perhaps I associate this structure to be primitive, firstly because of the age and rust coloration, secondly, location and finally brutalist form. To me, the structure is not too dissimilar than that of scaffolding and perhaps to some degree is why I may associate it to be of my own material experiences – that of building sights and building materials.
From extensively researching Deacon the past few weeks the structural form also made me recollect my thoughts upon the artists ‘siamese‘ series and how although the bold geometric structures create a fairly modern language, to some degree are incredibly simple and feel almost primordial when you strip away the element of colour.
My practice examines the interrelationship and engagement between the materiality and structure of clay objects. The relationship of matter, texture and surface complement form and this act of making creates meaning. The objects cohere to the same universal similarities I find myself in, voicing the ‘primal’, which is what unites them. The sculptures create a language that comes together to create a bridge between the past and present to characterise an aesthetic distinctiveness. To some extent, the language of these sculptures creates a discourse which displaces and modify each other. They stand bold and ‘primal’. The sculptures are drawn from a subconscious instinct, a raw urge to withdraw oneself from mind to physical rendition and rendition to form. My approach is empirical in nature and draws on my experiences and observations, where I create and respond to the material intuitively. Each object has an individual presence, yet when they exist collectively the dialogue is more complex which in turn extends the narrative.
as an artist what I find particularly exciting is texture, natural pattern and brutalist form. How I recapture, consider and create. For me rocks are brutal and rough, the foundations of what we walk, live and breathe on. They command arbitrary presence and stand bold.
What I find interesting with the rock to the left is the man-made qualities or what I perceive to be ‘unnatural’ qualities.But why do I perceive this rock to be un-natural? what makes this it particularly different from the one below ? is it the pattern, material requisite or synthetics ?.
I feel this is both a combination of subliminal memory and experience, i feel i believe the first rock to be un-natural because it appears to be made or of two different materials; we are told that these materials are usually combined in an industrial manner, thus man-made. Secondly, it is unique, no other rock on the beach is like this specific rock, therefore, it must be ‘un-natural’ and conclusively why we assume, categorize and know or, at least, believe it to be true.
The first image within this post is two forms I constructed in response to my trip down to Penarth, responding to pattern and form. Why are my sculptures less primitive than the boulders down at Penarth ? is it age? structure ? pattern ? or is it because we know the earth rocks to be organic ? from the earth ?. Technically speaking both should be of equal ‘primitiveness’ because both my sculptures and rocks are made from the same substance ‘earth’ the only differentiate is ‘myself’ or intervention between myself, process and the material.
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.