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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Per B Sunderberg – idyllic yet brutal beauty

Much like many ceramicists of Sunderberg’s generation, there is little written about the artist. For myself, to describe the ceramic vessels of Per B Sunderberg as inefficacious would be inaccurate.  Sunderberg’s work in terms of ceramic technique does all the wrong things in the right way, it pushes the boundaries of texture and glaze to new and exciting levels, a sense of play and explorative glazing techniques is clearly apparent. The glaze is infectious, absorbing, transformative and takes over the form, hints of the black body creep through the contrasting white crawling surface, this in turn creates a juxtaposition between the two surfaces with striking effect.Although the object is very much rugged and stark, there is a sense of tactility, malleability, tension between materials and plasticity present in all of the objects shown.

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2_2176095_vasesculpture-made-by-per-b-sundberg-sweden-2013.jpegThe sculptures/vessels invite us to engage with the work on a intimate level, they become objects in which we are able to explore the subjectivity of language in material objects and ceramic inquisition, Imitating materials through glaze, the objects are familiar. The objects look as if they have been formed from the spaces that surround our immediate natural environment. (Featured above) the vessel reminds me of upturned soil or that of a mole hill due to the coarse brown glaze body. Sunderbergs vessels look as though they have been  raised from the core of the earth and presented as archeological studies of molten rock. Sunderberg through his objects demonstrates the transformative power glaze can have on clay materials and further our understanding.