Cecile Gravesen: A Play for Handling

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This week had Cecile Gravesen come into to speak to us about her work in the exhibition Crafting Narratives. This talk was in relation to our V&A project. Gravesen’s work challenges ideas on museum conservation as her piece allows audiences to handle archeological finds held by the Crafts Council. Gravesen mentions that the museum can in a sense arrest the narrative of an object, once put into a museum the objects story seems to come to an end. She asks the question how many different imbued meanings exist within an object?

I thoroughly enjoyed her talk with, and found it to be quite thought provoking, the way in which objects were being viewed as having a presence. I also thought that had I seen A Play for Handling at a museum I perhaps would not have understood, the work or engaged with it, the way in which I understand the work once the artist has explained their thinking. Which made me think how can viewers at museums really engage with work being displayed? How can museums encourage people to look at things with meaning?

Objects that represent Chillin Cheung

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My first blog post is about our first assignment for this course. We were paired up with a partner for the assignment and the brief was to represent our partners’ personality through an object. My partner Chillin and I spent about an hour chatting and getting to know each other. From this conversation I got a little bit of a feeling for Chillin’s personality and what led him to join the course. I chose to focus on one aspect of what I understood about Chilling’s personality. I chose to focus on the fact that Chilling was in a new city and during our conversation he spoke quite a bit about how much he enjoys discovering new things and new cultures. I then began to think of how to create an object, which can represent this feeling of discovery, excitement and adventure.

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By the time we had to present, I ended up executing two ideas I had for the assignment. I had such a hard time choosing between the two that I took both with me to class. I ended up presenting the wire tunnel sculpture over the rotating moiré. I’m not entirely convinced that one was better than the other I had trouble making that decision but I will be sharing both ideas in this blog post.

I felt quite excited to work on both projects. I quite enjoyed this assignment in fact I think a problem while doing the assignment was that I had too many ideas all that I wanted to execute.

If I could make this project better I would like to have been able to spend less time being confused and lost regarding the assignment. I did spend quite sometime having a bit of a mind block. I would I have liked the ideas to have come to me earlier on so that I could have spent more time carefully executing. Perhaps I should have focused my attention on one idea, I think if I could make the project better maybe I would have focused only on the moire, perhaps it relates more to my skillset as my background is in graphic design.

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However I did find it easy while working on both to source materials that were necessary, I used wire, induction tape and Christmas lights for the tunnel sculpture. This type of resourcefulness is something that is a bit natural for me. As I do have quite a bit of experience with working on things by hand. While making the rotating moire it was easy to come up with a packaging idea for the two transparent sheets, which allowed the user to rotate the transparent sheet in order to create the moire.

During our class presentation I learned that I could benefit from maybe being a bit more confident about my work. Everyone in class was confused about this first brief. But I was impressed by the effort that many of the students put in their presentations, they were informative and entertaining. I think if I had to improve for the next time it would be to just be a bit more confident about my work even if I’m feeling unsure about it.