Second one-on-one

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

The second one-on-one tutorial for my MA with course leader Jonathan Kearney

What was discussed

We kicked off discussing the two artists that I presented earlier in the week:

  • Juriaan Schrofer — a well-known Dutch graphic designer.
  • Anna Upston — a fiber-artist based in New York.

We discussed the paradox in my practice of type design and typography vs handmade thread, natural fiber.

A challenge for me has been sourcing material to work with, and one that I have been making progress on: I secured a small supply of handmade wool fiber from Anna Upston; and from a women’s co-op in India I secured another small supply of handmade fiber made from recycled silk, denim, and banana fiber. We discussed playing with different fibers, and also about considering its source as part of the process.

Over the year-end vacation I was in Washington DC and I saw the WONDER expo at the Randwick and visited the atelier of an assemblage artist. We both agreed that WONDER was almost the perfect expo to see; that Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus A1 was an impressive object; and that the Randwick’s encouragement of photography in the expo was commendable. The assemblage art was interesting in its own right, and its good to see inside the working environment of other artists, even those whose work is not in your domain.

I haven’t made as many pieces as I hope, but, thanks to the newfound material, I did produce an object using raffia and silk. We discussed that it was small, organic in nature, with interesting juxtaposition of raffia and silk, and that the dividing line between them is not perfect (which was deliberate). Jonathan suggested that I scale up my work to see if the relationship would be different. Perhaps a 1m x 1m object? Playing with the illusion of graphic devices.

We explored some work by Andy Goldsworthy.

Andy Goldsworthy, Rowan Leaves & Hole. Image from

For example, in Rowan Leaves & Hole he works with nature, collecting leaves over days, then arranges them; it is a construction with materials that he finds. The point is the scale of it.

Similarly, Cairn:

Picture of Cairn
Andy Goldworthy, Cairn, 1997. Castlemaine slate. Image from

It is the relationship with material. The scale. Individual things begin to blur (they are made from layers of collections). Exploring the idea where you loose the materiality and then drawn into a new potential relationship. Geometric patterns. Unusual materials.

Move to 1m = increasing resolution.

We discussed how at different times of year hands and material are effected. I noted that my fingers feel different over winter than in spring or summer or autumn. And that moving to a larger scale increases the logistical requirements, which is why I plan to increase scale once I’m comfortable with what I am doing.

Jonathan suggested that if I need to look at alternate materials, as I am on a fiber buzz, then I might look at felting. Some artists are pushing the medium.

We ended the session by looking at my project proposal. It is all fine and good. The bibliography is extensive and it may be good to including a research paper of two from Third Text or October. Next term (block 3) there will be a briefing on writing the research paper.

Thoughts about the next steps

Make more objects.

Make bigger objects.

Explore alternate materials and methods.

Research articles in Third Text and October. A quick scan through these publications lead to the following potential and/or interesting articles:

From Third Text:

  1. Chakrabarty, A. S. (2009) “Primitivism Redux: The Other Face of Indian Modernism,” Third Text, 23(2), pp. 209–211. doi: 10.1080/09528820902840714.
  2. Davis, H. (2015) “Distance in Proximity,” Third Text. Routledge, 29(1-2), pp. 47–60. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2015.1047612.
  3. Eaton, N. (2014) “Chromophobic Activism,” Third Text, 28(6), pp. 475–488. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2014.970769.
  4. Jussawalla, F. (2008) “Of the satanic verses’ Mohajirs and migrants: Hybridity vs. syncretism and indigenous aesthetics in postcoloniality,” Third Text. Taylor & Francis Group, 9(32), pp. 85–94. doi: 10.1080/09528829508576567.
  5. Kapur, G. (1997) “Globalisation and culture,” Third Text, 11(39), pp. 21–38. doi: 10.1080/09528829708576670.
  6. Kee, J. (2012) “Why Chinese Paintings Are So Large,” Third Text. Routledge, 26(6), pp. 649–663. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2012.734481.
  7. Lagae, J. (2000) “Displaying authenticityand progress,” Third Text, 14(50), pp. 21–32. doi: 10.1080/09528820008576834.
  8. Léger, M. J. (2012) “Art and Art History After Globalisation,” Third Text. Routledge, 26(5), pp. 515–527. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2012.712767.
  9. López Orozco, L. (2014) “The Revolution, Vanguard Artists and Mural Painting,” Third Text, 28(3), pp. 256–268. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2014.935566.
  10. McLean, I. (2004) “On the Edge of Change?,” Third Text, 18(3), pp. 293–304. doi: 10.1080/0952882042000227991.
  11. Montezemolo, F. (2009) “Tijuana: Hybridity and Beyond: A Conversation with Néstor Garcı́a Canclini,” Third Text, 23(6), pp. 733–750. doi: 10.1080/09528820903371156.
  12. Morley, S. (2013) “Dansaekhwa,” Third Text, 27(2), pp. 189–207. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2013.772350.
  13. Parry, B. (1994) “Signs of our times: Discussion of Homi Bhabha’s the location of culture,” Third Text, 8(28-29), pp. 5–24. doi: 10.1080/09528829408576499.
  14. Sutherland, T. (2014) “‘The Monument to a Crisis,’” Third Text. Routledge, 28(6), pp. 545–554. doi: 10.1080/09528822.2014.970774.
  15. Monte, S. di (1995) “Hans Rikken: A Neoprimitivist Hybridity,” Third Text, 9(32), pp. 103–108. doi: 10.1080/09528829508576569.

From October:

  1. Adriasola, I. (2015) “Modernity and Its Doubles: Uncanny Spaces of Postwar Japan,” October, 151, pp. 108–127. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00205.
  2. Allan, K. R. (2013) “Barnett Newman’s \emphThe Wild: Painting as Spatial Intervention,” October, 143, pp. 71–94. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00133.
  3. Alloway, L. (2011) “Eduardo Paolozzi,” October, 136, pp. 29–31. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00035.
  4. Apter, E. (2008) “What is Yours, Ours, and Mine: Authorial Ownership and the Creative Commons,” October, 126, pp. 91–114. doi: 10.1162/octo.2008.126.1.91.
  5. Baker, G. (2010) “Leather and Lace,” October, 131, pp. 116–149. doi: 10.1162/octo.2010.131.1.116.
  6. Banham, R. (2011) “This Is Tomorrow,” October, 136, pp. 32–34. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00036.
  7. Banham, R. (2011) “Parallel of Life and Art,” October, 136, pp. 8–10. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00028.
  8. Banham, R. (2011) “The New Brutalism,” October. MIT Press 238 Main St., Suite 500, Cambridge, MA 02142-1046 USA, 136, pp. 19–28. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00034.
  9. Benson, T. O. and Shatskikh, A. (2013) “Malevich and Richter: An Indeterminate Encounter,” October, 143, pp. 52–68. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00131.
  10. Bishop, C. (2012) “Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity,” October, 140, pp. 91–112. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00091.
  11. Bois, Y.-A. (2007) “Klein’s Relevance for Today,” October. MIT Press 238 Main St., Suite 500, Cambridge, MA 02142-1046 USA, 119(10), pp. 75–93. doi: 10.1162/octo.2007.119.1.75.
  12. Bois, Y.-A. (2013) “Two Perspectives on Barnett Newman’s The Wild: An Introduction,” October, 143, pp. 69–70. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00132.
  13. Bois, Y.-A. (2013) “The Wildand Company,” October, 143, pp. 95–125. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00134.
  14. Bois, Y.-A., Chlenova, M., Cox, C., Dickerman, L., Foster, H., Franko, M., Galison, P., Michaud, P.-A. and Quaytman, R. H. (2013) “Abstraction, 1910–1925: Eight Statements,” October, 143, pp. 3–51. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00130.
  15. Buchloh, B. H. D. (2013) “Painting as Diagram: Five Notes on Frank Stella’s Early Paintings, 1958–1959,” October, 143, pp. 126–144. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00135.
  16. Buchloh, B. H. D. (2014) “The Dialectics of Design and Destruction: The Degenerate Art Exhibition (1937) and the Exhibition internationale du Surréalisme (1938),” October. MIT Press 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1209 USA, 150, pp. 49–62. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00200.
  17. Burnett, D. G. (2010) “The Objective Case: A Review of Objectivity,” October, 133, pp. 133–144. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00006.
  18. Chlenova, M. (2014) “Staging Soviet Art: 15 Years of Artists of the Russian Soviet Republic, 1932–33,” October, 147, pp. 38–55. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00165.
  19. Cooper, H. (2009) “Speak, Painting: Word and Device in Early Johns,” October, 127, pp. 49–76. doi: 10.1162/octo.2009.127.1.49.
  20. Damisch, H. (2009) “Remarks on Abstraction,” October, 127, pp. 133–154. doi: 10.1162/octo.2009.127.1.133.
  21. Geers, D. (2012) “Neo-Modern,” October, 139, pp. 9–14. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00077.
  22. Godfrey, M. (2007) “The Artist as Historian,” October, 120, pp. 140–172. doi: 10.1162/octo.2007.120.1.140.
  23. Gough, M. (2007) “‘Frank Stella is a Constructivist,’” October, 119, pp. 94–120. doi: 10.1162/octo.2007.119.1.94.
  24. Greeley, R. A. (2015) “The Color of Experience: Postwar Chromatic Abstraction in Venezuela and Brazil,” October, 152, pp. 53–59. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00216.
  25. Gullar, F. (2015) “Color and Color-Structure,” October. MIT Press 1 Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1209 USA, 152, pp. 121–124. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00220.
  26. Henderson, N., Paolozzi, E., Smithson, A. and Smithson, P. (2011) “Parallel of Life and Art: Indications of a New Visual Order,” October. MIT Press 238 Main St., Suite 500, Cambridge, MA 02142-1046 USA, 136, pp. 7–7. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00032.
  27. Jolly, M. (2013) “The Barred Colors of André Cadere,” October. MIT Press 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1315 USA, 144(73), pp. 115–148. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00143.
  28. Jorn, A. (2012) “Structuralism and Suppression,” October. MIT Press 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1315 USA, 141(4), pp. 80–85. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00101.
  29. Kitnick, A. (2011) “Introduction,” October, 136, pp. 3–6. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00027.
  30. Kitnick, A. (2011) “The Brutalism of Life and Art,” October, 136, pp. 63–86. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00043.
  31. Maimon, V. (2009) “The Third Citizen: On Models of Criticality in Contemporary Artistic Practices,” October. MIT Press 238 Main St., Suite 500, Cambridge, MA 02142-1046 USA, 129(7), pp. 85–112. doi: 10.1162/octo.2009.129.1.85.
  32. Meyer, R. (2010) “‘Big, Middle-Class Modernism,’” October, 131(4), pp. 69–115. doi: 10.1162/octo.2010.131.1.69.
  33. Robinson, J. (2009) “From Abstraction to Model: George Brecht’s Events and the Conceptual Turn in Art of the 1960s,” October, 127, pp. 77–108. doi: 10.1162/octo.2009.127.1.77.
  34. Rose, J. (2012) “Objects in the Cluttered Field: Claes Oldenburg’s Proposed Monuments,” October. MIT Press 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1315 USA, 140(5), pp. 113–138. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00092.
  35. Smithson, A., Smithson, P., Drew, J. B. and Fry, E. M. (2011) “Conversation on Brutalism,” October, 136, pp. 38–46. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00039.
  36. Sullivan, M. (2015) “Alejandro Otero’s Polychrome: Color between Nature and Abstraction,” October, 152(104), pp. 60–81. doi: 10.1162/OCTO_a_00217.
  37. Tret’iakov, S. (2006) “The Biography of the Object,” October, 118, pp. 57–62. doi: 10.1162/octo.2006.118.1.57.
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