Site of memory – sensuous geography and nostalgia

Moving forward, separating and understanding the differences between nostalgia and sentimentality another element within my work I have been interested in is the site of memory, or ‘ sensuous geography’ – the idea that ‘the senses mediate the apprehension of space and in so doing contribute to our sense of place’. Yi-Fu Tuan (1972) was the first to call attention to the spatiality of the senses and their role in shaping the affective relation of people to their habitat. “What begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better [through our senses] and endow it with value”’. 

Fundamentally it’s the idea that if you were stood on top of a mountain for example, then the sound, feel, and temperature of the atmosphere around you would ultimately denote you to your sense of place and thus your brain would register the fact you are on top of a mountain. What becomes interesting in terms of memory is say for example you visited this location under a second set of circumstances and similar environmental conditions endured then your brain may ultimately remember the preceding set of events, thus upon the second time you visit you may register a greater sense of space as you are adding new memories to a preceding one. You stand on top of the mountain, think back, take a huge breath, breathe out and feel good.

With the objects featured in the images, i am attempting to be slightly more obscure. You could almost look at the objects featured as miniature excavations pulled from my dried out slurry buckets with the site of memory being the buckets themselves. What I do to these excavations or ‘uncovered’ objects is completely controlled. I like the idea of looking at these objects as a series of memories from the past that has been mashed and distorted into the present, much like how I personally view ‘nostalgia’. How I glaze these objects, in terms of aestheticism is purely representational and subjective of my immaterial, material memories and nostalgia, that of early 2000s aesthetics or ‘YTK aesthetics’ – the glad, tacky, wacky space colors and transparent inflatable sofas that dominate my subconscious. These objects are ‘fractured’ representations of my memories and further myself.

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Rafa Perez -shaped by volcanic heat: material tension

Maybe this is just a side effect of the cold rain hitting my windows, but I really appreciate the way fire appears to have left artifacts of itself behind in the finished products. It’s an obvious recipe, clay and fire, but it’s so plainly seen on these works. Many of the forms have tissue-thin layers, shearing apart like shalestone. Others show the glaze splitting and cracking. I’m reminded of the way paper burns, the way it flakes apart before finally turning into ash. The glaze looks like paint still clinging to the walls of a burned house. Heat is so present in these works. It’s a wonder they aren’t steaming, even as they sit in the gallery. Rafa Perez – Copyright © 2016 C-File

Perez`s work is certainly distinguishable, his ceramic sculpture, material use, and techniques are rather unorthodox with regards to traditional ceramics, yet, this is what undeniably makes his sculptures so unique. Perez’s sculpture looks as if they have been dug/pulled from the ground. The layers within the body are reminiscent of the layers of sedimentary rock that we see on geologic television documentaries or we tend to see at the beach or within traditional seascape paintings.An emphasis on material tension and exploration is incredibly apparent.

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Perez’s sculptures remind me of the work of Ewan Henderson, perhaps this is due to the irregular textural qualities of their work and naturally occurring phenomena both artists are interested in, thus tend to communicate. Unlike Henderson, the selected sculptures of Perez seem to project an absence of colour, a coldness; which is interesting yet ironic due to the high firing process the sculptures are exposed to. The combination of earthenware and porcelain clay body’s fracture, melt and become one, hosting and projecting the process they have undergone, giving emphasis to the unstable nature of ceramics that many people do not experience.

Ron Nagle – Telling a story through materiality

For myself what I find particularly interesting with regards to Nagle’s work is  the use of striking colour, unique form and how ultimately the sculpture comes together to create an interesting yet obscure composition, a story between texture and miniature structure.

Many of the colours Nagle uses are incredibly artificial. There seems to be a stark element to them, they seem earthly yet familiar. Below the outer structure looks representative of  corroded limestone, the black glaze looks like oozing hot tar. Nagle’s sculptures are so familiar because they are so representative of materials that we see in the everyday.

Although Nagle’s sculptures are strikingly small they command space and stand bold.

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http://www.ronnagle.net

Anish Kapoor: Earth Art in Brussels

What is immediately fascinating for myself is the relationship between Kapoor’s mirrored exteriors and giant mounds of clay. How the two materials work together to tell a story and create a material symbology.

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Coming up to finally putting together my exhibition What is important for myself is how the language of these objects together speak, how in the gallery format they fit and by these objects being together what as a viewer does it mean to yourself ?. Kapoor has done this incredibly well. The surface of these sculptures contrast the polished mirrored works, they function as explorations of depth and interiority, they indeterminate our sense of dimension.

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Deacon at the museum

From visiting the museum today I stumbled across one of Richard Deacons giant ceramic sculptures and couldn’t help admire and study the piece. As one of my favourite artists I couldn’t help but consider why the ceramic object was beneath these set of stairs ?  was there a specific reason for this ? or was it simply for aesthetic and decorative purpose ?.

It made me consider that sometimes the most obscure of places for sculpture can work the best with relation to surroundings and hidden curiosity.

Either way, this is the first time I have witnessed the artist’s ceramic work up close in person and find the work both amazing and structurally powerful. the sheer scale of the object and the beautiful multi-colourful glaze that the swirling construct is consumed by are brilliant. The work stands bold and strong and works effectively within its museum surroundings.

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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 ?.

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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.

 

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Ken Price: 1961 – 2008 Honors an L.A. Original Exhibition

Price is someone who I have been profoundly interested in coming towards the end of my degree, he is best known as a sculptor of abstract and biomorphic ceramic forms. The surfaces of Price’s objects are so complexly chromatic and expertise they exist only in his sculptures. By being so jarringly compelling and unique they challenge the viewer’s concepts of beauty itself.

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In the exhibition on show laid out on 4 plinths are about 24 of price’s works, the exhibition focuses on the artists career in ceramic sculpture.What I am particularly interested in is how the work has been exhibited within the LA space. Together on 4 large plinths, the objects command space yet although  they are separate ( separate plinths)  they create a relationship, the sculptures contrast and work together to create an aesthetic distinctiveness, that is undoubtedly prices unique work .

I also find the slight elevation from the floor incredibly effective. how something so simple can enhance the element of display

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