Artist in EnvironmentPosted: November 11, 2015
Last Friday in Constellation we were asked to do a quick exercise to understand how the environment entirely changes the use or efficiency of a material and how the artist reacts to the page.
“It is not about the line, it is about the extension of the artist, what inspired them to draw the line. What influences their movement. The line is this, just made visible.”
– M. Woodward
Alongside this theory of experience over the final result lies Tim Ingold’s ideas on making and growing. A lot of the session was spent reading an extract from The Materials of Life and considering how the process of making something is shaped and influenced by, or even no different from the growth of our environment at all. He explains that he and a few students tried to make baskets on a beach and how themselves and their environment had an effect on the final item. The wind was strong and meant that the poles for the basket leant to one side, and in turn caused their baskets to be curved, another contributing factor was the physical capability of the students, the wood was hard to bend into shape and the stronger students made tighter woven baskets because they were more able that the others to work with the materials, and finally the decision as to when the basket was finished was determined by the daylight disappearing and the threat of rain. All these things prove that, although we may have a design in our minds about what the final product will look like, the actual physical item will shape itself based on its surroundings and the artist, and ‘grow’ into its own shape. Even under very strict conditions an actual made product will be slightly different from how it was initially imagined.