Excerpts from (my thesis) Embodied Reactions to Natural Materials
The stone he found in the river was a symbol of the time, energy and process of the flowing water, it showed how the water existed and moved. Penone remarks, “taken from the river the stone suggests it depicts the river by means of contrary. It’s compact suggests the fluid” (Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, 1997, p.13).
Penone took a second stone from the river and proceeded to duplicate the first stone by recreating the river’s harsh reality to make the work Essere Fiume.
“He envisions that ‘the blow of the chisel, the scoop, the gradine, the drill, abrasive stones and sand paper are all tools of the river’ (Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, 1997, p.101). He is comparing human technology and innovation to the rivers more archaic, slower routine of eroding its contents and container, the banks.”
“Penone claims, “To be sculptor is to be river” (Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, 1997, p.13).”
The Human And The Material Are Sympathetic To Each Other’s Conditions.
Vernacular architecture is carved out of the landscape. Our lives are cut out of the land around us. We are not upon the land but made out of it, we should be camouflaged in our surroundings, showing our knowledge, adaption and allegiance to the ecology around us.
Excerpt from (my thesis) Embodied Reactions to Natural Materials
His sculptures are a concentrated expression of the mood he feels at that place. They are Long’s meditations of that exact spot in time and they are the centres of his world at that precise moment of creation, as we are always at the centre of any experience that we have. ‘Long explains, “the place is as far as the eye can see from the sculpture” (Fuchs, 1986). He is thinking about how we can perceive our own scale against our environments, he is thinking about our own perception of scale. By using the constituent parts of a place he has made a concentrated expression of an entire panoramic view. He learns of the design of a place taking on the role of the creator and from this he learns about the attributes of the material.
Each quality extends through the other qualities of a material.
It is the crunching of the bark that is brown.
It is the sound of the wood that reveals the shape.
By combining my previously made wooden frames and coloured prints I wanted to imagine that this object could be expanded to become a decorative Japanese spatial divider.
By displaying drawn trees with the raw material I was trying to hint at the inside/outside dichotomy of a tree. I was also suggesting the design of the raw wooden frame was just a re-arrangement, almost a copy of a tree’s original and natural design.
Communicative design is meant to be visceral information communicated easily via our intuition, which has been built up from multiple experiences. It is not meant to be a new sensual investigatory experience. But doesn’t an embodied reaction to a design object create a stronger message? Is the communicative message the reader receives ever linked to the material qualities of the design object?
My argument is that examples of embodied reactions in communication design are rare. We have already become disembodied now we communicate through the interface of a computer but this has awoken us to the considerations of materiality, only now that it has gone. My thesis will examine how we respond to the stimulations of our senses from material contact. I aim to build a new set of criteria that will help us factor material qualities into design objects in the context of our everyday use of it? Does materiality in physical design effect our enchantment with the content? Also can a greater understanding and appreciation for materiality direct us towards a more sustainable way of being?
Justin Partyka photographs the fading remains of Suffolk’s agrarian way of life. I was lucky enough to be camping a five minute cycle from a local exhibition in the area which he walks the fields. He watches the ‘old boys’, with their crooked backs and wrinkle’s deep as the furrows they sow, and captures the moment these old timers appear to perfectly fit into their landscape. His work is all about sense of place and showing the viewer this old way of life lives on.
Thanks to Jason & Justin for showing us around the exhibition
I’ve been reading Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory on the train across England and imagining I was on a train across Mid-Western America.
See also, the film Days of Heaven.
For a college workshop I built a bookshelf, taller than my first attempt but still only made from the coppice Hazel from Philly’s garden. I explained the thinking behind my work and everyone gave some feedback.
People suggested making with other materials, interactivity, a neat selection of references and considerations of scale, including the bookshelf growing out and up into a spatial divider which I could imagine fitting into a traditional Japanese building.
My tutor noted the book shelf was the end product of a process and this is rather an after-object of my research. Phenomenology is not about what we see, but the seeing of it, It searches out to find the “conditions of the possibility of experience” (Cerbone 2006). These final objects which I can hold and possess now are the static, end of my making.
Have I lost and forgotten my memories of the crafting, can I recall and relive them in my imagination? How can I present the depth and density of phenomena my body realises whilst working with natural materials?
By being part of the making, and using materials from a vernacular source, there will be a intimate and fonder relationship with our objects.