Tag Archives: objects

Real world talk – crafting practices

Late night talk at the Whitechapel Gallery yesterday, from our own Shane Waltener and maker Helen Carnac. It was badged as a discussion on the Art v Craft debate – with both of the speakers straddling / crossing whatever boundaries exisit between fine art and crafts.

Key thoughts and questions I noted:

  • What is the relationship between the viewer an the object?  Does this make an impact on whether it is art or craft object?
  • Shane proposed: a CRAFT object needs to refer to its own making or the process of making; an ART object doesn’t, it prompts you to forget the making or look at it differently.
  • When an object is very well made – high craftsmanship – you can almost forget about the making and understand it in a different way
  • Technique can be an inhibitor to learning
  • How does the object interact with space?
  • What matters more – the object or its making?  Should we dispose of the objects and just leave the instructions?
  • It is not about the looking – it is about experiencing.  Does the value of art get reduced by not being able to interact with it?

Some of Shane’s work that he showed which I really liked: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA image05 59 Over Here - Shane Waltener

Helen, a maker and curator, talked about her most recent residency with dancer Laila Diallo.  She talked about having a fascination for edges – which I really resonated with.  She said  “edges were fertile places” which I thought was such a great way of thinking about it. She also described how she and Laila had collected as shared words during their time together which acted as a soundboard for thoughts and ideas. I rather liked this, and this was my collection of words I wrote down during her talk.

Words
Collection
Resonating
Purpose
Shared
Make
Process
Progress
Challenge
Jumble
Ideas
Future
Edge
Horizon
Side
Questions
Curiosity
Communicate
Paper
Words
Through
Together
Apart
Resistance
Reading
Repair
Cooperate
Distinct
Framing
Audience
Other
Value
Connected
Boundary
Time

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Narrative workshop: every object tells a story

Busy day which ended in our first curated ‘exhibition’ of our personal objects, where mine looked something like this….Photo 17-09-2014 12 42 54

So how did we get there?

We had a fascinating day with Karen Richmond, talking about narrative and the ‘invisible thread’ which holds groups of objects together.  As a storyteller (both personally and professionally I suppose) I got this.  Every object tells a story.  It just might be a different story for every different person who looks at the object.  And that story might be different again if you place that object near to another which complements or accents something.  I got a little lost when going through some of the design examples – the language of critique is new to me, so I only followed some of it, but I think by the end of the day I was getting the point.

It was a great way to get us to understand discourse and get us started on sharing stories. Each of us brought personal or sentimental objects in this morning and shared their tales with the class.  Karen, with some sort of Freudian laser-sight, seemed to be able to psychoanalyse each person’s set of objects to make some incredible insights.  Isn’t it a wonder how different your perspective of what you think of a familiar thing, compared to how a stranger reads it.  After this we set up collections of the whole groups of things we had brought in, to see what objects complemented each other and ask why.  Some very interesting results.Photo 17-09-2014 12 15 28 Photo 17-09-2014 12 17 14 Photo 17-09-2014 12 19 34

I’d love to talk with Karen again, she was a great speaker / discussion-er (if that’s a word).

ANT x