Summative post

Statement

“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.” Hubert Reeves

“If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” Jonas Salk

My work aims to challenge our relationship with nature, how we perceive, connect and interact within it. I wish to convey, through the use of ceramics, the delicate situation in which we find ourselves, incorporating notions such as balance, the irreplaceable and rebuilding. I am drawn to the fragile qualities of ceramics and have created a sculpture which explores the magical, yet at the same time aims to comment on the destructive nature of human error. In our constant quest for perfection and order, we attempt to straighten out the tumbling, spontaneous spirals of life, and losing as a result its very essence. We are not separate from nature, but a part of it, a big beautiful muddle of limbs, thunder and mud.

Context 1 – Manacorda, ‘Radical Nature’ 

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Context 2 – Jay Griffiths, ‘Wild’

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Documentation 1 – Tree faces

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Documentation 2 – fungi fingers

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Context 3 –Kate Macdowell

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Context 4 – Agetha Dyck, Bee collaboration

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Documentation 3 – Gap crit

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Documentation 4 – Making drawers 

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Documentation 5 – Bugs in drawers

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Context 5 – Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds

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Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

I was advised to look at the ‘Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’, as some felt that my work somewhat resembled it. Her first book  was released in 1906 and her second in 1977 after her death and both were hugely successful. People were entranced by her beautiful, delicate painting style, an elegant and gentle take on the nature around her. She opened up an opportunity for others to observe the beauty of nature through her work. If others are able to feel transported by my paintings in some way, to an outside space or feel closer to nature, I am flatted.

I particually like how most of the pages in her books contain descriptions, making the images more personal. I will be sure to include this in my degree show pieces as it was something people liked in my gap crit. I also feel that these paintings are very reminiscent of the Victorian botanical paintings, which have heavily influenced me.

Silk Scarf 

I have been thinking for a while about how best to hang my branch arm.I know that the material I select to hold the work in place is significant as it will become an important part of the piece and therefore must be chosen carefully. I thought about ‘found’ materials for a while, but everntually settled on silk. It feels to me that it is both a delicate and precious material that also is the product of nature. This seems very relevant to my work.

silk (dictionary definition) noun

1. the soft, lustrous fibre obtained as a filament from the cocoon of the silkworm.
I feel that silk portrays the precious and delicate qualities of nature which I am trying to demonstrate in my work and seems relevant as it is a material produced by nature and fashioned by man.  The soft, slippery nature of the material makes it an unusual and risky choice as a rope, but this serves to emphasise my theme of balance and how precarious this is.
I visited some charity shops in the search for silk and came up with this. I felt reasonably happy with the colour, but wanted something a little more earthy so decided to die it with tumeric, which can be used as a natural dye t create yellow. after one dye session the scarf came out quite a light bright green and i feel will need a few more dyes to become more yellow. i have also heard that gram masala can be used to create yellow browns, i may also try this to get an earthy ombre effect.
The scarf also contains some small areas of gold, which i find complement the areas on the hand painted with gold.

Bees and Gold

My bee ,which will sit on its own in the top drawer, will represent what we stand to lose if we continue along this current road. As many recognise it as a symbolic warning of the perils of climate change, this bee should pack a punch. I want to add to its significance by using gold paint. I feel that in many aspects, bees can be linked to gold. For example their honey is gold like in colour, treated as precious, and a rich man’s food. In some areas of the world honey acts as money, being the greatest form of exchange. The pollen they collect is also golden, and their acts of pollination provide a vital role to our own existence on this planet. Bees can also be linked to royalty, ‘queen bee’ and they are even protected by order of the queen. I therefore feel that it would be appropriate to add more gold onto the box containing the bee. I would also like to add gold leaf, as it signifies these precious qualities and creates a scattered delicate effect, almost like pollen.

Hélène Gugenheim Healing Scars with Gold

Instead of hiding her subjects’ scars, Gugenheim exposes them. In a similar fasion to the traditional Japanese method of kintsugi, she fills the scars with gold, making them shine bright. She wishes to show through her work the idea that we should not hide our scars, that they are a beautiful part of us and our story. By emphasising them with gold she gives the scars properties of beauty, preciousness and splendour. The subject appears to be glowing from within. The backgrounds and skin tones are delicate and compliment the dazzling gold, making it shine out even more. I like this idea of celebrating the imperfect and accepting what cannot be changed.

Yee Sookyung

Yee Sookyung contemporises the traditional method of Kintsugi through his artworks. He collects ‘trash’ ceramics, that are broken and unwanted and with the use of the Kintsugi method, repairs them together into sculptural pieces.

Sookyung illustrates how you can incorporate old traditional methods in to new sculptural pieces, enhancing his work and embedding it with deeper meaning.

Kintsugi

Kintsugi originated in Japan around the 15th century and is known as the method of joining broken ceramics with a seal which has been mixed or dusted with gold. The philosophy behind this method indicates that it is linked to the Japanese concept wabi-sabi which envolves embracing the imperfect. Kintsugi also references the philosophy of ‘no mind’, which involves acceptance of change and of fate.

The idea of change can sometime be a hard concept to accept but we are surrounded by it in life. This method displays how things change and can be transformed into something new and even possibly better.