THE PRACTITIONER PROJECT: RESEARCH

Wall Drawings Analysis

I like LeWitt's approach more than the aesthetic seen here. The idea of using a grid or rigid structure as a lens through which objects and spaces can be observed. I like the simplicity of the lines, vertical, horizontal and diagonal. This makes me think about simple geometry, shapes, structure. What if I applied this thinking to the chaotic natural landscapes I have been exploring? I believe these could help me to create a balance, 'anchor' my designs, create contrast. I can imagine these lines enhancing my response to the Himalayas image in my sketchbook. 

Wall Drawings by Sol LeWitt

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A Visual Inventory Analysis

I notice the contrasting textures packed in to the image on the left, striking. The straw or hay like texture is woven to create this very tight and crisp, it is almost hairy. This makes me think of farms, of hay of horses. I wonder about and imagine the scene in which this texture lives, on a farm in the countryside with fields of crop growing, sheep, cattle - a slower life than to the one in which I currently reside in London. The swathe of brick is muddy, hard and strong it appears to reinforce a building or structure - it is controlled in the sense that the bricks were clearly laid with an order or idea in mind, more than likely the idea of being strong and secure. Yet they are also imperfect, perhaps due to wearing with age. I wonder how long this structure has stood. I believe that John Pawson wants to elicit these types of questions or represent a sort of visual narrative through his imagery. I would like to explore this world that I have imagined in response to this image of the farm, perhaps through antique clothing, where the type of person that I envisage may have actually lived

A Visual Inventory by John Pawson

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'Fulcrum' Analysis

I notice the steel slabs leaning against each other, the weight of the object is evident to me especially having seen it towering above the masses outside Liverpool Street station in East London. With Serra's work I get the sense that the steel could fall at any moment which for me creates tension. What I notice most strongly is the way that light interacts with the sculpture; light can penetrate through the space between the steel, these grow as the sculpture meets the ground allowing for geometric shapes to pierce through. The sculpture is dynamic in this regard. This makes me think about how materials interact with each other - in this case light and steel.

'Fulcrum' by Richard Serra (1987)

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'Sleeping Muse' Analysis

I like how the limestone has been 'worked in to', it's shape is 'egg-like' very smooth and soft almost despite my knowing it is made from stone. Perhaps this softness is created by the harmony between the outer curve of the head and the inner curve of the nose shape. Brancusi clearly intended for this piece to be balanced in form. I can see that this is a more abstract representation of a woman's head. This makes me think about the body and abstracting body parts down to their most essential qualities. This makes me want to explore even more minimal and abstract works and understand the potential for these to communicate visually, conceptual ideas.

Sleeping Muse by Konstantin Brancusi

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Goldsmiths Gallery Analysis

I love the structure shown here; in this image I see the light reflecting along many different lines and in various shapes as I will now analyse. The repeated curves along the cladding melds this wavy line that reminds me of the sort of interpretation of waves I would have drawn when I was a a young boy. The larger curved shadows across the rectangular shape are opposing, creating this swooping movement which contradicts the very rigid, mathematical curves created by the form of the cladding. This makes me think of contrast, repetition and architectural forms - these may serve as inspiration for textile development especially with regards to 'constructed' textiles, knits, weaves.

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'The Hearth' by Joseph Beuys

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'The Hearth' Analysis

Felt suits that formed part of a street performance in 1978 by the ‘Alti Richtig’, one of the cliques that parade annually in Basel in a carnival known locally as ‘Fasnacht’. Beuys routinely used felt in his work and the experience of his art is visceral. I believe this has something to do with the collective memory embodied in this traditional, archaic material. I use the term archaic due to its coarseness, rigidity and distinct smell which I noticed while experimenting with both wet and needle felting. Beuys wanted to connect to a wider audience believing that all human beings are artists in the most primal sense - to be human is to create. I want to explore this material further specifically with regards to its application to the human figure.

Ancient, Old: 'Terracotta Warrior' - A Detail from a Clay Sculpture I saw in Xi'an, China (210-209 BCE)

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Ancient, Old; Analysis

The Terracotta Army is a collection of several thousand terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. 

This image is a close up I had take in summer. It shows the armour of one of the sculptures described above. It has been reconstructed having been dug out of the centuries old ruins in Xi'an, China. The context of this image makes me think about myths especially given the context of the sculpture, that the emperor believe he would be protected in the afterlife by having several thousand 'warriors' surrounding his corpse. The magnitude of this. That it was in fact carried out over tens of years. There are several thousand other sculptures like the one in this image. This makes me think about, scale, war, fear and superstition. The structure shown is similar in shape and stature to several thousand others - the time and craftsmanship required to build these is a thought which carries immense weight. This image, the detail shown, particularly interests me because of the protruding shapes. The shapes are repeated, this made me think about how this could be translated into textile form. It reminds me of the Japanese technique 'boro boro' which is relevant to the idea of imperfection.
 

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Saint Benedict Chapel Analysis

I notice the tangents, the way the wooden, rectangular blocks are set horizontally while the supporting structures above them are vertical. This makes me think of opposing structures, that they are opposing and as a result of this are working together to reinforce the structure of the building. Horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical. This makes me think of weaving, how fabrics are interlaced, interwoven in order to create structure and stability. I wonder who prays inside the chapel, what their lifestyles are like - do they know about the architecture, do they care? Or for them is this a place of worship no holier than any other. This makes me want to explore religious clothing. Also the way that the wood is structured reminds me of patch working fabrics together, as if the wood was patch worked together. I would like to explore this method of 'padding' or 'patching' the beauty of which is in the sum of its parts - each block performing its own function and adding up to the whole. In this sense now I think about the building as democratic perhaps? I wonder if this is what the architect had intended or if this is my imagination.

Saint Benedict Chapel by Peter Zumthor

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Atelier Bardil Analysis

I am deeply inspired by this image. The harmony between the form of the building, the vernacular within which it sits and also the history which it expresses are all in tandem to create this poetic, visual representation of Switzerland. This is a perfect contemplation on all the positive connotations of the word 'control' - specifically I believe this is an example of an controlled elegance. From this I learn about Valerio Olgiati's sense of beauty, in this image I see a meditation on form and space. It makes me think about how one can communicate an visual history through artistic mediums, the potential for art or fashion to pay homage to the past through silhouette, cut, form, material. I also think about contrast, to say that the circular shapes juxtaposed against the vertical lines is visually arresting is an understatement - I think this building is a masterpiece. As a result I would like to explore the lines shown in this image specifically in the context of textile development for this project. This image gives me a similar sense to the dexterity of silk organza due to the delicate, elegant qualities the textile bares. I wonder if this image were in black and white if I would feel this same texture, I would like to explore this by printing it out and doing observational drawings and responses.

Atelier Bardil by Valerio Olgiati

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Neues Museum Analysis

I like the sensitive, structured lines in the image. The range of textures from the rugged brick wall, to the hard but smoothened wooden enforcements to the ceiling, the soft and smooth forms along the line of the staircase. The part that interests me most is the minor imperfections to the brick wall which have been kept in order to maintain the visual history of the building itself. The new forms by Chipperfield are delicate and subtle and compliment the original structure, enhancing it, modernising it. I believe that he intended to reimagine this building for a modern purpose and time without ridding but instead enhancing what was already there. The imperfections in the wall also remind me of my research in to Piper Shepard for a previous project, specifically her work titled 'smudge'. This makes me want to explore historical ways of dressing, of 'fabricating', knotting, making, techniques in textile making, taking a sensitive and subtle approach. This also makes me think about restoration in response to decay, or derelict buildings such as this one that Chipperfield has worked on. In the context of garments and fashion this comes in the form of restoring old garments, antique clothing.

Neues Museum by David Chipperfield

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Cast Ceramic Cladding at the new Goldsmiths Gallery by Assemble

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Sculpture I Saw In A Tibetan Monastery in Lhasa

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A Textured Wall with Moss Growth

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Looking at Nature i): Trough Beneath The Himalayan Mountains - Photo from an Airplane

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Looking at Nature ii): Bagum Lake in Tibet

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Looking at Nature; Analysis

In i) the lines are erratic and weave in and out of each other, creating inward movement toward the civilisation that lies beneath. The large blocks of shadow cut across the mountain scape. This makes me consider beauty, why am I drawn to this image? One way of interpreting unkempt trees and forestry is chaos, the vegetation is wild. I wonder if there is an underlying 'natural order' or control? I was thinking about how nature can be reflected through textile perhaps through using natural fibres - juxtaposing these with synthetic, structured fibres (representing modernism) could be an interesting experiment. I am interested in researching vegetable dyes and mineral dyes, however for the purposes of this project it may not be relevant.

 

In ii) the lake shimmers underneath the sun. The context, and after having been there I know that being 3,000km above sea level in the middle of the Himalayas is an surreal experience. Yet, for the local population this is everyday life. This makes me think about situation and perspective, chance of being born in another body in another part of the world. This also makes me think of the lake outside of my house in the countryside and how I feel towards that. I wonder is this how the people here feel towards this lake? It's just home. This ideas of natural features carrying associations in relation to human perspective is interesting to me. This mode of thought prescribes a philosophy that material, in this case water, can carry meaning. I believe this to be true in form of clothing, textiles - that meaning can be translated and expressed over time through fabric and construction. I would like to explore nature more in relation to this project, I am now thinking of vegetation and especially food. What food do the local people eat? This is always the question I ask myself when in a foreign country or even city.

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