Critiques

Semester 2 – Talk Week

Talk Week provided the reassurance that I was heading down the right path while highlighting the negative aspects that I already knew weren’t working within this installation.

Negative points:
– The dark colour brown is too distracting and flat/2 dimensional. The texture/holes are being lost and the gloss glaze doesn’t reflect well (the colours should be activated by the light and not the glaze itself). My idea to change the glaze, leaving raw exposed clay mixed with the blue (and possibly gold) accents was well received.
– The angled strings and knots were also distracting. This was not my ideal setup location but I was moved from my pre-booked foyer space due to overcrowding (messy floor, ceiling pipes and faulty lighting hindered this presentation). I was limited by having to balance the objects perfectly over having them positioned correctly to a secure, fixed frame. My final presentation will (hopefully) allow for straight-hanging strings that can be repositioned, similar to Cornelia Parker’s Subconscious of a Monument suspended soil fragments. The nylon will also be upgraded to braided white line to prevent any unwanted light reflections.

Additional feedback to consider:
– The larger scale project I described makes more sense to the viewers in terms of scale/space relationship, perception of the non-objective objects (and the negative condition). The direction of my end of year project appears to be on track and there was no discussion or ideas around changing my current path. The consensus was that my future project was very ambitious but not to shy away from the level of installation required (estimated at 50-60kg versus this smaller scale 3.5kg piece presented).
– The positive/negative space relationship of the sculptures was strong (mentioned by guest speakers without prior context given) and further interest was shown when I mentioned my secondary topic around gender language with positive/negative mechanical terminology.
– Aesthetics were compared to cells, fossils, natural forms – even though the glaze wasn’t quite right, the ‘shine’ of the objects were also discussed as fetishised and desirable. There is perhaps a separation of space/accessibility from object to person just by variations in colour and exploring a shift from glazed to raw areas (this brings me back to thinking about my early Lucio Fontana research and his use of metallic colours to change common object perception into valuable/precious).
Do I want this to be viewed as individuals or a collective? On mass, they will form an individual (circular) shape but also be viewable as seperate objects, maybe seen as both?
What is more important? The holes or the shapes? Are we focussing more on the shapes than the holes? At first I thought the hole was more important but now I’m looking at how I can make them co-exist or work in unison? A ying-yang of sorts.
– I trialled one piece on the floor as a way to ground the overall sculpture (was getting lost in the messy floor background) but this did change the perception of the sculpture from floating/suspended in time to growing or falling to the floor.
– Interest around how the forms were made, very process driven, both the front and back of the sculptures were identified as different when viewed up close.
– My work needs to clearly define the “hole” (a space within an object) versus a “void” (a space that can surround an object or form) to avoid any confusion with what I’m trying to portray: a layered relationship is beginning to emerge; “individual objects with holes in mass” which then transforms into “objects in mass and a single hole”. See philosophical research around Holes in relation to ontology/epistemology.

Consistent treatment of sound and video aspects to compliment and re-enforce this work with positive/negative space relationship studies.
– Additional artists to look at: Charles Ray (studies holes in sculpture), Len Castle (ceramist – crater bowls, desirable colours/objects), Beth Dawson (MVA student – working with sound, holes, rips).