Blog

Alison Brown at Collect

Alison, who graduated from the MA Ceramics course in 2018, will be showing at Collect this year:

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Press release from Ruup & Form
We are delighted to have been selected to participate in Collect 2020, an international art fair for contemporary craft and design presented by the Crafts Council.

Ruup & Form will be showcasing at Collect 2020 for the first time presenting the work of seven makers in an exhibition titled ‘Lost and Found’, focusing on makers who are passionate about sustainability and the environment and work with found material – reshaping waste.

The topical narrative about reducing waste, consumption and recycling is transcending the craft and design sphere in a meaningful and impactful manner. In support of this narrative and the growing awareness of this broader issue we have chosen a select set of makers working with ‘found’ material and implementing them into their own specific skillsets. They are glass artist Hannah Gibson, ceramicist Alison Brown, metal and silversmith Claire Malet, designer-maker, Eva Fernandez, paper textile sculptor Kuniko Maeda, textile and discarded objects Bridget Harvey and paper and wood Hannah Lobley. The makers’ works are deeply rooted in craft and explore innovative ways to push boundaries with material and techniques. Each in their own way is pushing boundaries, blurring the line between craft, environment and technology. They all share the trait of being able to blend and diversify their practice by using various technic and with recycling at the heart of their practice. ‘Lost and Found’ aims to create a degree of understanding and consideration of makers narratives within the context of sustainability, their nature and position in the 21st century and what they may signify in the social dialogue.

Find us at Stand S8, South Wing
Collect 2020 : 27 February – 1 March 2020
Somerset House, Strand London WC2R 1LA.

www.collect2020.org.uk
#madaboutwaste

 

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Whitegold commissions

The Whitegold and Garden Projects aim to make creative, innovative and activated public spaces that use art and gardening to celebrate the culture of clay country, enhancing its sense of place.

Current Opportunities
The Whitegold Project wishes to commission three artists to create art in public spaces for St Austell that inspires, challenges and reflect on this unique place. Off the main tourist trail, St Austell in Cornwall is an industrial town moulded from the china clay beneath its feet and which is now looking to creatively reshape its future. The project has the people of St Austell at its heart and is a St Austell Community Interest Company not-for-profit project in partnership with local business, local authorities and cultural organisations. Other opportunities will be posted here as they come on line. To keep up to date sign up to our mailing list.

TREMEN (passage)– a small covered passageway called Grants Walk: Budget £20,000
At the start of Grant’s Walk, coming from the town centre, is a covered passageway that is an important connection into the town from one of the main car parks at Priory Rd. It joins the main street in town, Fore St, with Biddicks Court behind. A contemporary artist, maker or designer is needed to lead on its refurbishment and create art for this space that makes a positive contribution to the environment. Download the full brief:
Whitegold Artists Brief TREMEN. Apply via Curator Space.

OPE (alley) – Chandos Place, an alley in the heart of the town: Budget £30,000
Artists, makers and designers are wanted to apply for this commission for Chandos Place, one of St Austell Town Centre’s main pedestrian thoroughfares which connects Fore St with Old Vicarage Place. It is a challenging space but one with scale and presence, and an important connection from the main street to the central square in St Austell.
Download the full brief Whitegold Artists Brief OPE Apply via Curator Space.

TREUDHOW (threshold)– a focal point on the western end of Fore St: Budget £15,000
We are seeking an exciting and innovative artist, maker or designer to create a new work for an important threshold at a key entrance into the town centre on the old Bodmin Rd. The location is also the start of one of the main ways out of the town towards the Clay Country – the villages that sit the ridge above St Austell town. In doing so the road passes Menacuddle Well and Wheal Martyn Clayworks – a museum dedicated to the culture of clay in the area. It also connects to the Clay Trails – a network of cycle and walking routes joining together Clay Country, the Eden Project and the town.
Download the full brief Whitegold Artists Brief TREUDHOW Apply via Curator Space.

CLOSING DATE FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE IS THE 21st NOVEMBER 2019

 

One of the first Whitegold commissions: Parasite Ceramics: The Hive – Native Honeybee wall project for St Austell

A brief reflection on practice

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Funda Susamoglu, Decamp (2012)

 

How do we develop an approach to production that has a strong rationale, rather than producing high-quality, discrete objects?

What does it mean to focus on the quality of your process, rather than the quality of finished pieces?

What does it mean to you to take risks in your practice?

How can you be playful in your practice?

In Play Anything: The pleasure of limits, the uses of boredom & the secret of games, Ian Bogost proposes play as an approach to dealing with a particular set of limits, otherwise known as a ‘playground’. The true creative act, Bogost suggests, is the identification of this playground, i.e. discovering what the rules of the game are.

Play invites us to draw an overdue conclusion: that the potential meaning and value of things – anything: relationships, the natural world, packaged goods – is in them rather than in us. Play is not a kind of self-expression, nor a pursuit of freedom. It is a kind of creation, a kind of craftsmanship, even. By adopting, inventing, constructing, and reconfiguring the material and conceptual limits around us, we can fashion novelty from anything at all. Although they refer to poeisis – the making that grounds poetry – instead of play, the philosophers Bert Dreyfus and Sean Kelly come to a similar conclusion about finding meaning in a secular age: ‘The task of the craftsman is not to generatethe meaning, but rather to cultivate in himself the skill for discerning the meanings that are already there.’  (p. 223)

Bogost notes that the philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead invented the neologism, ‘creativity’ in 1926, conceiving it as the process through which novelty arises.

As Whitehead himself puts it, “creativity is always found under conditions.” Those conditions are much broader and deeper than human existence alone. Just as play names the conditions under which something can be manipulated, creativity names the conditions under which novelty can take place. Creativity always involves context, and not only the context of abstractions, like interior design and background music and wealth and comfort. Whitehead is doing metaphysics, remember, not self-help or aesthetic theory or business consulting. Creativity is not a part of human experience, he urges, but a fundamental feature of existence. The fallacy of creativity, we might call it: mistaking our human exertion as the central factor in acts of creativity, rather than a peripheral one. (pp. 149-150)

This reminds me of Schopenhauer on genius:

….genius is the power of leaving one’s own interests, wishes, and aims entirely out of sight, thus of entirely renouncing one’s own personality for a time, so as to remain pure knowing subject, clear vision of the world…

Which, in turn, reminds me of a short text I wrote for an exhibition catalogue:

Interpretation so often engenders the habit of judgment. Let’s say that, rather than judgment, our aim is to facilitate meaningful interaction with both human and ‘more-than-human’ objects, to become an object among objects.

Don’t worry about the ‘meaning’ of the work, but focus on how your senses place you at the centre of a composite, ‘display’ object, consisting of space, light, sound, smell, text, displayed objects and, of course, bodies. How can I use my ears, my eyes, my nose, my skin, my voice? How can I contact a strange stranger and how might a stranger contact me? Imagine that you are a beam of light, playing on the surface of the art object; a sound wave bouncing off it; a fly about to land…

Imagine yourself to be a Benjaminian critic. Enter into the work and activate its subjectivity rather than making it an instrument of your own subjectivity.

(Funda Susamoglu was an exhibitor)

 

Ian Bogost (2016) Play Anything: The pleasure of limits, the uses of boredom & the secret of games, New York: Basic Books

Arthur Schopenhauer (1818) The World as Will and Representation.

Conor Wilson (2015) ‘the significance of sensory states and objects’ in The Sensorial Object, curated by Dr. Natasha Mayo and Zoe Preece,Makers Guild of Wales, Cardiff.