Shard: a sharp piece of broken pottery, metal, glass, etc p949 OED
For the last few years I have been working with shards, making them into new pieces, new objects, reshaping them in new wholes and exploring a technique I first visited in 2015. Sometimes breaking them further to fit my needs.
But somehwere in me i have a problem with this - i like to make work that engages with a question, inquires into something, and i havent really managed to work out how this work does that. This is in part down to my training - doing my PhD meant justifying my practice against a research agenda - and in part a question or me of authenticity. Can an (abstract)object conjured from my thinking provoke and question (and maybe even in some way answer) in the way that my more literal or linear objects do?
This work has also coincided with big world and life changes - this obviously is also something that affects my thinking’s and my feelings about my work.
So what is it to make something new from somethings old, rather than to repair that thing into itself or a new version of itself? What is about these amalgamated or more narrative pieces which i find hard? If I am trying to be truthful in my practice, what is it about these works that is not that?
Maybe one of the things is that, these pieces they hold my heart somehow, and that is a much more uncomfortable truth for me. (To me) they make external my internal, they show my feelings, my placement of emotion and care in objects, and they make public my personal. I know this is not necessarily how they will be read but it is how they feel to me. And there in lies the query - how can we make objects that embody emotions to us, and be brave enough (and embrace vulnerability enough) to put them out in the world?
In summarising their review of writings about authenticity, Sweetnam and Henderson suggest “an object’s journey involves multiple interactions and multiple values, and its authenticity is created by viewers via their own individual relationship with the object. It becomes an individual concept understood through many layers of knowing, certainties and uncertainties.”(p4)
p.82 "Authentic in my lexicon relates to motivation and thought. It means not acting mindlessly conforming to some cultural, peer or other societal norm. It means doing something not because "they" tell me to but, rather, from a free choice related to whatever domain of care is getting attention at the moment." ehrenfed flourinshing