Sunday, 22 May 2011

MADM Library Intervention 10th - 31st March

What lies Beneath 2011
Mixed Media: Nylon mesh, felt, human hair, dust, wax and pewter.  

Creating and installing this piece was really useful in that it enabled me to test out some new ideas, materials and engineer interactions within the library environment. In some ways this is very difficult space to use. It is very noisy visually and the choice of location was crucial given that my piece quite small with lots of surface detail and subtle textural qualities.
placing it at the back of the library within the special collections encouraged exploration of areas that were unknown to some; negotiating a passage through tightly spaced book shelves gave the potential for disorientation and claustrophobia before emerging into the light and space next to the huge window. Integrated onto the far end of the radiator, the piece required crouching and kneeling positions for closer visual examination and tactile engagement.
Deliberately challenging in terms of form and materials, there were some extreme reactions; One viewer expressed disgust and was unable to touch the matted felt, hair and wax. Some, who were not too sure but curious, engaged and then recoiled, others fondled the work laughing.

Gut, Gusset, Vessel 2011
Mixed Media:  Nylon mesh, felt, polyester threads.

Wieki Somers, High Tea Pot 2003.

This work also fascinates me; again I discovered it whilst doing research for my written paper and it has become a key influence in my work. I originally saw it as part of the Telling Tales Exhibition in September 2009, but the V&A have now acquired one for their collection so I will be able to get closer to it for further scrutiny. A strange and emotive object, it's links with Oppenheims' 'Lunch in Fur' seem very direct to me.  The example that I  recently saw at the V&A really surprised me; it was enormous, the actual size of a pigs skull I assume. It's form, and the cultural associations linked to its materiality force a questioning of function; it is a thing out of place. However, the use of bone china, the insulating properties of the rat fur, the lid and the spout are all very practical! Tea and cake anyone?!

High Tea Pot 2003  Wieki Somers

Hella Jongerius

I came upon these works by Hella Jongerius while researching my written paper; I was interested in her approach to materials, the visibility of the making process in her work ('Soft Urn', 'Big White Pot and Red White Vase') and the fact that she originally trained within textiles. Her thinking is really radical. She combines materials in an unorthodox and inappropriate way that makes some of her pieces impractical; the embroidered ceramic plates for example (not pictured).
The surreal fusion of forms; industrial, zoomorphic and domestic in 'Office Pets' and 'Props' also appeals to me. Humorous, playful and uncanny, for me these objects seem to tread the fine line between the psychologically safe, and the threatening.

Soft Urn 1993 Hella Jongeris
Natural: PU rubber:  Pink: silicone rubber

Big White Pot and White Red Vase 1997.
 Material: Porcelain, Spray paint lacquer (Toyota red).


Office Pets 2007 Hella Jongeris
Leather, metal, polyester, embroidery

Props 2007 Hella Jongeris
Materials; Various