Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The Collector - is it Art? Is it an Art Doll?

A discussion coming from the QA list a while ago made we I an artist or a crafter? Do I care? I wouldn't call myself an artist, but I don't think I'm a crafter either. I don't have a message to convey, I just do it for fun, or to see if I can. Maybe if I wanted to get someone to pay me for it, I might take it a bit more seriously and then I might call myself an artist!

Anyway. All this reminded me of my City & Guilds course. We looked at Surrealism - we attended a Lee Miller (photographer) exhibition and looked at other artists, including Joseph Cornell who put things into boxes and was an obsessive collector.

The essence of all this, I thought, was to do something odd with an everyday object, convey some kind of message and, in the case of Jospeh Cornell, make an 'assemblage' (I suppose we might make a 'memory box' today).

This was all completely at odds with the way I view the things that I make - purely for enjoyment, but as ever I was prepared to have a go.

So, here is my 'Collector' an insect - and in his box, little people of slightly differing colour. My inspiration, apart from the surrealists, came from the seaside. At the old town hall in Aldburgh on the Suffolk coast is a room full of wide shallow drawers. Each drawer is full of moths and butterflies. I went there just after we had looked at Cornell, when the idea of collections was fresh in my mind.

(Click on photo for bigger image)

The 'collector' is made from wire and odds and ends of beads, some of them rolled paper. The fabric for his wings was cut from a fire-damaged piece of sari fabric I got in a sale. So, in the spirit of Joseph Cornell, he is made from rubbish!

When I showed this in class, one or two people were offended. I hope I haven't offended anyone here. It was a lighthearted joke at the expense of the surrealists and our very serious tutor.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I always check out what people are doing and I love finding new things since I have only been doing the blog thing for six months.
Anyway, I love your collector! It is incredibly funny and wry and well done. I would call you an artist.