Strung together…


                                     …moulded, burnt but connected.

Below is a link to my powerpoint…

Strung together

Connectivity for me is such an interesting concept, whether it be the connection of one object to itself or of many objects together. This sense of congruence surrounds us every day in life integrating everything that we see in one way or another. Dead leaves on the forest floor, through networks of tiny hyphae filaments,

hyphae filaments

Hyphae filaments

connect food supply, via mycelium, to the roots of the towering trees overhead.

Towering trees

The connectedness of a foetal infant to the expectant mother via the umbilical cord.

umbilical cord

From the plants around us to the air we breathe, from the clouds in the sky to the water that feeds the plants we eat. Though in some of these we cannot see the connectivity, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

While the use of string in artworks can create a feeling of connectivity it can also convey a sense of tension. This use of filaments is what I personally enjoy and the taut and complex property that it can bring to a piece or pieces.

String and it’s uses in art is nothing new, from Henry Moore,

Henry Moore

 

Barbra Hepworth

Naum Gabo through to contemporary artists such as

Chihauru Shiota,

Tomás Saraceno

and Akiko Ikeuchi.

All of whom have used it to different means and purposes. As a starting point for this part of my project I will be re-examining the works of Moore, Hepworth and Gabo, artists which I have always greatly admired. The range of these artists works are almost immeasurable, from sketches on cigarette boxes to sculptures that take up whole exhibition rooms, from tiny maquettes that that could fit the palm of ones hand to sculptures that fill the landscape. Truly extraordinary, diverse and emotive works. The pieces which I am most interested at this point are the stringed forms. I feel I will be revisiting these pieces for quite some time.

Drawing inspiration from the works of

David Roberts

and Tim Andrews,

ceramic artists who though not known for their use of string but for their smooth and tactile sculptures and vessels in naked Raku. I really enjoy the glossy, smoky and touchable qualities to these artists works. Some of the surfaces of naked Raku feel almost like skin in their silkiness, warm and curving. In the hope of honing my skills in the art of naked Raku, I would learn more about the technical aspects of this medium and develop my awareness of other artists using this powerful and ancient artform.

My starting point this coming term will be to further explore the theme of work which I started in 2014 my piece which in tribute to Henry Moore’s works I entitled

Mother and Child 2014

“Mother and child”.

This project for me was deeply personal and investigated my own relationship with my mother who died at the age of 36 when I was 14. I would like to continue with this channel of communication, conveying and connecting I hope the viewer of such pieces with the anguish and turmoil which I felt at that time.

Father and Child.jpg

Hopefully I can relate other times in my life in this way also from my works with tactile clay and taut textile. A process which I feel is not only profoundly meaningful but deeply cathartic.

 

Johnathan English.

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