Sunday, August 21, 2011

Touch makes reality

Home sweet home.

I've just been away for a week, it's so good to be back at home, with the family, sleeping in my own bed! I've started a Masters degree in ceramics at the ANU (Australian National University) in Canberra. Last week I spent every waking hour involved in an intensive masterclass with Belgium artist Anton Reijnders.
One of the first things he said to us was

"Touch makes reality. This is very essential. We tend not to look. We tend only to see what we know."

This is an essential thing to remind yourself of when you are in middle of a creative struggle to tease something new out the muddle of old stuff, ideas, things you have seen before and wondering what's for dinner. To truly look at our work is a time consuming and sometimes confronting task that gets pushed aside in favor of something easier (like making more objects) Looking is hard and valuable.


Anna said...

Good luck with your ANU course and thanks for the thought provoking quote :^)

gerry said...

Then there is the near at hand, from arm’s length in. This zone is completely disfavoured in our culture, almost to the point of numbness. It’s where eyesight begins to give way to touch, where eyesight blurs and fingers take over. This is true even when things appropriate to this zone, like ceramics, are shown under Plexiglas. That’s frustrating because the things were made to be touched; but we imagine the touching. You see where people stand when they look at things in a show of ceramics – they stand up here. If the objects were sculpture, even of the same size, say by Brancusi, people would be a step back.

Peter Schjeldahl

Elaine Bradley said...

Good on you for doing a Master's Degree. This should make for some very interesting posts from you as you are a very good writer and so observant. Bonus for us! Hope you tell more on what you experienced at ANU, my fave place.