Thursday, 7 January 2016

222 Grips for a Stone - the trauma of an object

For many the familiar presence of things is a comfort. Things are valued not only because of their rarity of cost or their historical aura, but because they seem to partake in our lives; they are domesticated, part of our routine and so of us. Their long association with us seems to make them custodians of our memories. Yet this does not mean that things reveal themselves, only our investments in them.   
Peter Schwenger.

Not only does our human existence articulate that of an object through the language of our perceptions, but the object calls out that language from us, and with it our own sense of embodied experience.

This would imply that we as humans project upon objects the experiences of human emotions and qualities, yet at the same time things reveal to us to ourselves in profound and unexpected ways.

My explorations rely on the historical, social and political associations we place upon objects when I create my assemblages. I challenge our associations by placing objects under extreme duress, often subjecting them to immense forces which transforms the nature of the object and consequently our understanding of it.

I am not interested simply in the destruction of materials, but more about their resurrection and transformation.

These everyday objects comfort us through their familiarity, yet there is a tension between the two versions of the object: that of its known past as a familiar functional object (by association) to its current state which bears the scars of the trauma it has been subjected.

The progression of images shows the working process I am currently employing in the studio. Ceramic 'stones' are found, and then 'gripped' or contained by the steel wire woven into basket forms. 
Combining broken glass, and a shino glaze, the object is then fired to Cone 6 in a reduction atmosphere kiln. The results culminate in a glaze that has surface cracks, the wire becomes brittle and sinks into the glaze in places. The broken glass pieces mix with the glaze and run off the object before solidifying again. 

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