Sunday, 23 January 2011


  My aim has been to explore 'The Secret Life Of Objects' with a fresh outlook on the potential of new creative strategies, and the utilization of existing understandings of visual language and coding.  As a novice blogger I have used this space as an accessible record of ideas, processes and development allowing me to easily navigate through the links and connections between theory, practice and everyday life that accumulate to create the framework of my working methodologies.  In previous projects I have bent the spines of overfilled sketchbooks cutting and sticking to log my progression and to contain the many tangents that lead off from the main focus.  In an attempt to gain a little more control over this direction of progression, blogging has provided me with a clear, chronological record for reference meaning that early research and realisations of ideas have acted as the tools to inform the later development.  I have found this to be a useful and efficient strategy, however the beauty of a sketchbook as an art object in itself has been lost.  The accessibility of the blog has definately enriched my practice by allowing my fellow students to follow my project at their own leisure which has provided me with specified criticism and comments that I have never gotten from group tutorials etc.  The web presence has also served as a useful tool as one of my contacts for the coming collaborative project learned about my work after being directed to my blog via a google search.
  After researching the ritual of tea drinking and the connotations of culture and wealth, I quickly came to the conclusion that the exploration of my tea cup as an art object could not carry the weight of a global understanding of its meaning.  My cup would not be found in a Japanese tea ceremony and therefore it cannot be defined by this ritualised appreciation and value added.  The history of tea, tea cups and the surrounding rituals is vast; and so, I directed emphasis to a personal exploration of ownership and function within my Western working class world.  The strategy remained as an exploration of 'my tea cup' rather than the generalised object, but 'my tea cup' is simply a vessel for communication and interaction so 'my tea cup' became a metaphor for personal relationships between the owner, object and ritual.
  I used other people from within my culture to inform me of the projections of meaning applied to tea, and later to enhance the individual personal relationships between object and function in recording conversations.  Supporting these findings with my own ideas an creative application of these ideas, the scope of understanding around the object reflected our shared belief system and social and emotional attachments.
  The understanding of meaning was strongly founded in the links between functionality and communication in that the value of the interaction outweighed that of the object or experience.  Subverting the function in order to emphasise the true meaning then became prominent as I explored the use of materials, exhibition and context.
  Throughout the brief my ideas have been underpinned by theory first and practical creativity second.  Although I can see that the overlap between my theory and practice strengthens the body of work, authentic, uninformed expression and visual communication has become an increasingly important point of interest.  The format of my existing creative strategies has been research and theory leading to creative practices but I feel that this has to change.  I want to critically underpin my practice with the knowledge and understanding that essentially informs it, however I fear that my practice is becoming a strongly institutionalised commentary on the spoon fed conceptual thinking that I am being introduced to. Working in collaboration from this point, I plan to gain a better understanding of the pleasures of artistic expression as therapy without applying art theory from the offset.

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