Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pepper me up....

These little guys are the newest things to roll out of the studio. They are found object sculptures that also function as pepper grinders.
The first lot of pepper grinders came out off the studio in 2008 for an exhibition at Craft Victoria in Melbourne. They started out as a bit of a I get people asking 'is that art?' when viewing my stuff another question I have been asked more than once is 'what is the point in making those/that?'....I made these so if anyone asked those questions about these pieces I could answer 'they are pepper grinders' and to the question 'what is the point?' I could answer 'well, it grinds pepper'. I thought it was funny at the time and over the past two years I have continued making them (and continued finding them funny).
The essence of my art practise is play. Play is the way we learn about the world as we grow from baby to child to adult. But somewhere along the line we are told that playing is for children and not for adults. Play has no right or wrongs like art, its all about experimenting, exploring, using your hands and not being afraid to get messy. I think all adults should play more.
The ideas behind making these pepper grinders has evolved alongside the practical skills I have acquired through playing with different materials.
These pepper grinders have evolved into domestic gods/goddesses. They are made from found domestic objects (such as broken childrens toys, old bits of cutlery, shaving brushes, can openers etc). I source objects from things I find around my own house, houses of friends and family, tip shops (or op shops) and garage sales. I try to find objects that have been used in a domestic setting but are now being thrown out. I clean them up, crave them or fill them with resin and then bind them together using a mixture of contemporary craft and traditional wood working techniques.
When painting them up I reference pattern making and mark making from objects used in tribal worship ceremonies of early civilisations.
These pepper grinders are part art, part multifunctional kitchen accessory and part object of domestic worship.
These three pieces are on available through Masterworks Gallery in Auckland.