Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fine Art in Contemporary Craft

For a while now I have been contemplating on pursuing and developing an art practice that incorporates crafts like crocheting and felting but in a way that is more sophisticated and is designed as fine art rather than just decorative craft. I was browsing at the local 'arty' book store in Yarraville and found a book called By Hand which presents the craft based artwork of a variety of artists. Every artist is also presented with their own artists' statement as well as 3 or 4 photos of their work.

The book is edited by Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro, and those of you in Australia buy it off it's much cheaper, if only I'd known. The work itself covers a variety of media from cake decorating to freehand sewing even crochet in the form of granny squares!

Shane Waltener, Sweet Nothing, An intimate history of cake decorating, 2005

Coffee Maker M.I.M, 2001 Margarita Cabrera

I don't know what I am going to do... I have this urge inside to create 'fine art' again and not just make handmade presents for friends and family. I want to become serious about my art again but I am not sure if it's for all the right reasons. I am starting to worry that I haven't made serious art for so long that I have lost any chance of making it in the art world. Then I start thinking oh what a waste of time going to art school for 4 years and what will people think who have known me as a kid with a pencil in my hand? The problem is if I think about it real hard and look deep down and honestly about my desire to make art again it could all be because I still have a silly teenage idea that being an artist is cool and if I am an artist then I can be cool or 'interesting'. It's so stupid. I bumped into a ex lecturer and my honours year supervisor at the train station the other day. It was lovely to see her but at the same time at the back of your head you can't help but think maybe you failed her by not continuing to purse an artistic career.

I think back on my years at art school. I do love making art creating and designing. But at the end when I have an artwork finished and I think of the art world and exhibiting, the snobbery and academics that run the show it makes me want to slit my wrists. I am a miserable artists and a happy teacher who acknowledges that she is a daggy teacher who thinks she wants to be a cool artist. I sure am an idiot at times!

I think I will email that lecturer and make a coffee date...

1 comment:

Inger C said...

My friend Brigitta, a 71 year old artist/painter, said to me when i had a down period in my artmaking, (because I got my children, work for my living etc etc know...)
She said - "You will always be an artist! It's the only work you never retier from. You can pick it up whenever you want."
It comforted me :)