Tag Archives: Whitechapel Gallery

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