Saturday, 31 August 2013

Gateway 21


Gateway 21 was exhibited at Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Survey, Perth, Western Australia, in 2012.

Now it has a home in my garden.

It is made from wheel thrown stoneware clay, and glazed with 2 superimposed glazes to create dynamic surface. At a first glance, many people think it is made from shells.

A beginner’s guide to constructing the universe
The mathematical archetypes of nature, art and science

Is the title of the book I recently picked up for $2 on second hand book sale. It is quite significant for several reasons. As I picked it up I thought: this is the perfect title for the sculpture I am working on. Will I dare use it? (And are there copyright issues?)

It also helped me realise that my ceramic work is heavily embedded in mathematical concepts. The same way music can be viewed as applied mathematics, so can my art.  I am reluctant to use the word “art” for what I do. In this sense, I use the word as a shorter version of "creative endeavor".

I have been creating ceramic objects for almost two decades now. And only now I am becoming aware of how big portion of my creative thinking is within mathematical domain. Not necessarily complex mathematics. More like ancient one, worked out with pebbles and string, full of playful rhythms, symbolism and mystery.

I gather lots of information from internet sources, and so I have decided to give a little in return and use this space to talk about some of my projects in greater depth than it is possible in artist statements associated with the work, in case someone out there is interested.

To quote from the book: “In ancient Greece the advanced students ... who were engaged in deep studies of natural science and self-understanding where called mathematekoi, “those who studied all”. The word mathema signified “learning in general” and was the root of the Old English mathein, “to be aware” and the Old German munthen, “to awaken”.
So much wider than how we think of it now.

I will start chronologically in 2012 with making of Gateway 21. Some of the processes and websites with information I used and was inspired by are already fading into the mists and can't be found.