31 July 2012

Questioning the clichés

It is so easy to talk in stereotypes and respond to questions with clichés, that a concerted effort is needed to overpower their allure.  Without an awareness, trite and banal responses can be regurgitated at many an opportunity.  It may fool some, which if I'm honest is sometimes appealing, but there is little satisfaction to be found in tricking an ardent fan while a respected peer looks on with a wry smile.

Some examples I'm guilty of …

"layers of narrative" - this is often banded about by makers in an attempt to gloss over the contextualization of their work.  There are many narratives embedded in a work, but to use the term 'layers' implies they are separate and chronological, which is rarely the case.  The narrative of a work may be a tangled mess of ideas and threads, overlapping, connecting and colliding with each other to create many new potential narratives.
"applied art" - this implies art which is 'applied' to a form.  I don't apply my art to anything.  Where does that leave me?
"found objects" - in my case I attribute this term to anything bought, received, donated, used … I don't need to find it at all!

Enough is enough.  As a maker I pledge to try to take nothing for granted, and to ask the questions others are too silenced to ask.  I have found sanctuary in the work of David Gates - a maker who constantly asks questions - of form, function, materials and language.  

Dressing-Stand, 2011 © David Gates
Isn't this piece wonderful?  Made as a contemporary response to the now neglected the dressing table, it's a great example of not taking anything for granted.  Furniture doesn't need four legs.  Drawers don't need to hang from underneath the table surface.  The different woods are allowed to revel in their distinctive colours and qualities, rather than being secreted under a layer of Dulux's finest ... simply yummy.  

No comments:

Post a Comment