A living potential expressed through the combination of inanimate elements.
Within autonomous sculptures this happens devoid of human contact.
This quality is expressed in contact with a human through the ancient principles and techniques of puppetry.
The inanimate gains living movement through connection and direct physical contact with the human puppeteer.
The multifaceted rhythmic of a living person, never still even when still is transferred to a thing.
The observer’s perception is altered.
We are experts at detecting “livingness” from “non-livingness”.
My thoughts on this;
This has come about due to our development and survival as a species over millennia.
We need/ed to know if a thing in the corner of our perception is/was alive (therefore a potential threat) or not alive.
This has been instrumental in our survival within countless scenarios.
I do not believe we can mentally “chose out” of this.
It is hard-wired into our total being.
In experiencing puppet theatre we ride this ancient perceptive attribute;
We experience joy and elation in the mental knowledge that the puppet is not alive all the while unable to switch off the deep innate feeling that it could be.
The puppet is both a potential threat and not a threat in the same moment.
In my development of sculptures which communicate a sense of their being alive I exploit the tension, holding and release of materials to express “livingness”.
I prefer to not rigidly join one thing to another and instead chose dynamic and fluid jointing techniques found within the tradition of puppet design.
Although the initial drive may originate from an electric motor, the character of the moving is a composition of certain selected materials and objects, each contributing their unique way of holding and releasing.
These dynamic assemblages are an orchestra of these things expressing the desired feeling/s through tension, release, movement and sound.
Below is a detail from the sculpture Bow Down and Very Low - 123 developed for Ingrid Pollard.
A living breathing stillness is observed here in the subtle pulsation of spring steel saw blades.
Perhaps these materials are experiencing physical waves of remembering as to how they arrived here and then onward to continue their dance.
Reflections on a fair way to price my art works and why I support price negotiation.
Without price negotiation “price” is accepted to exist as a god-like, solid and absolute value assigned by the seller.
Any negotiation of price is potentially accompanied by embarrassment and/or loss of face, loss of honour, loss of respect, on the part of the buyer to the seller and to themselves.
The price is the same for all.
Another way is;
A suggestion of price is offered by the seller, this price sits at the upper level of what they believe the buyer is willing to part with.
The buyer has the choice to accept this price or, without self judgement or judgement by the seller, to suggest a price which they can pay and are happy to part with based on their actual personal financial situation.
The buyer also knows from the initial proposed price offered by the seller an upper value assigned to the thing being sold.
This they will take into consideration when making their suggestion.
Perhaps the value assigned by the seller is so far above the buyer’s means that they decide not to continue, or they can take courage and suggest an amount.
This may be accepted by the seller or another price proposed closer to the buyer's suggestion.
A flexible pricing structure is created negotiated fairly based on both sides.
More effort is required for this form of exchange but I believe that the result is fairer and a stronger relationship is formed.
By placing what is desirable at a value completely out of reach to most people, this ultimately benefits a wealthy minority and aids a culture where all want is set artificially at absolute and inflexible value.
Value is not inherent.
Value is assigned.
The price is generally set specifically aimed at the societal group which can afford this price and so reserves this content for a tiny minority.
Is this a system which will reward innovation and risk-taking-potential in the arts?
It would seem rather that this system rewards the replication of what has succeeded previously and also what panders to the fantasies and tastes of a minority.
In the studio I grow my ideas into the physical language of the world
A bubbling of life
breathed into material
in the tradition of puppetry as an external poetic study of body
movement to movement
rigid to fluid
setting objects free to become another thing
fluid nature of identity explored through materials
reflecting a wish for freedom
divergent ways to bring together
the physical expression of my self
in many forms and ways
these are selves
these are expressions
reflecting through material
moving in ways which are unusual
and ways which are recognisable
I make bodies
finding the limits of communicating body and self
(this is my journey from the figurative)
this with that
parts which are not joined
shifting and moving
moving without purpose
bodies of non defined fluid purpose
my understanding of mechanism is modelled on the living body which I am
expressions of unity
growth in my fascination in
the fragile/the weak - holding/supporting - the solid/the strong