Facing the pieces
Over the past year I have been struggling with how to exhibit and show my work. I now have a collection of fragments of porcelain along with other elements such as fossils and large boulders, I now am facing the challenge which i have been sidestepping all year, how do I hang my work?
The placement and display of my work will be key into making the work into finished pieces, currently the pieces of porcelain are too fragmented meaning the pieces i am trying to produce do not yet connect and evoke as I wish them two. These larger finished works should work to both evoke meaning and perhaps engage the viewer in ideas I am interested in whilst simultaneously allow the viewer to see the quality and precision of the porcelain, here is my real challenge.
I wish to spend some time revisiting and finding pieces of work that I can take inspiration from and perhaps spark and idea for myself, so here are some artists I have begun to investigate.
On a previous trip to Tate Modern I saw a hessian pebble like instillation, at the time i did not find it of much relevance. However, I recently referred back to this piece when initially constructing my own instillation in the foyer. In this piece “Embryology ” by Magdalena Abakanowicz.
I enjoyed the variations in size and the groupings of various individual elements making up a whole, they tumbled and learnt on each other using each other for support and balance I feel this is something I can use in my work.
The work of Cornelia Parker interests me through its hanging I find I am drawn to her suspended pieces of rock, however when I tried suspending my own work the pieces didn’t fully work although they became interesting the did not discuss the ideas I was trying to convey and made the work journey into another direction so I have for now left the larger group hanging ideas behind. I find her other methods of exhibiting interesting too as you will see several examples below.
Further research has lead me to the work of Daniel Bare, working in both found and made ceramics his works interested through there surface. Bare is interested in humanities consumption and disposal of material “In my work, I examine the impact of overproduction, consumption and disposal of resources to show how these actions affect ecological balance. I feel an over-powering sense of gluttony and greed when I see the plethora of disregarded products that are briefly used and disposed casually. This cycle is indicative of a human view of resources and the world as an endless and miraculously self-renewing material. Curiously, one could see a beauty and power in the vastness of multiples and the sheer numbers of objects that are crafted everyday without notice”.
The work of Valeria Nascimento, is similar to mine as the work is inspired by natural forms.
“Valeria Nascimento was born in Brazil (1962) and spent her childhood on a farm, giving rise to an affection and fascination with natural forms that inspires her delicate, whisper-thin, white ceramics. Each piece is made from dozens or hundreds of hand-formed ceramic shapes which are combined into small or large, wall-spanning works that take months to assemble”. As found on the Woolff Gallery website.
Looking at the hanging of work by Christina Watka, I enjoy how her instillation’s are mimetic of natural forms and processes something which I myself have an interest in. The palette she uses is similar to that of my own often porcelain and similar materials.
“Christina Watka is a New York-based installation artist who specializes in large-scale installation art. Watka’s installations evoke naturally dynamic patterns found in swarms, flocks, cells, constellations, and topographical maps. Her work often captures the natural light in specific spaces by using low-relief sculptural undulations that ebb and flow in a visual conversation about density, structured chaos, lightness, and air”.
A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln, and fuse into porcelain – translucent, luminous, white.
For centuries, porcelain has transfixed emperors and alchemists, philosophers, craftsmen and collectors – all eager to learn the recipe for this versatile and valuable substance. Porcelain was melted, smashed, or snapped into pieces as men struggled to decode the secret of ‘white gold’.
Acclaimed writer and potter Edmund de Waal sets out on a quest – a journey across continents that begins at Jingdezhen in China, the birthplace of porcelain, and embraces Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and the English South-West, to tell the unbroken story of a global obsession. Along the way, he meets the witnesses to its creation; those who were inspired, made rich or heartsick by it; and the many whose livelihoods, minds and bodies were broken by it.
In these intimate and compelling encounters with the people and landscapes who made porcelain, Edmund de Waal comes to a more profound understanding of the material he has worked with for decades. It is a journey into an obsession with white itself.