80% crap | 2020
Something like a beauty mark, which has always been a prominent feature, both visually and culturally.
In antiquity, it was felt the gods sent dark marks to mar too pretty faces. Ancient Greeks and Chinese have sought meaning from natural marks, whilst 18th century Europeans have communicated meaning through artificial marks. Europeans of the Dark Ages saw evidence of the Devil and witchcraft, whereas Europeans of the Age of Enlightenment embraced the artifice of expensive fabrics to belie scars of disease and make the unappealing, attractive and seductive. Film stars, models and musicians have added, enhanced, or removed, their beauty marks to change their public’s perception. Beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder, and a beauty mark is beholden to so much more than the eye.
So, while investigating this topic, I began my own voyage of discovery and experimentation. This voyage culminated with large alcove shelves, built by hand and from slabs of clay made using the Nerikomi technique. This project also delivered an extraordinary number of test works, spanning experiments with paper, ink, paint, ceramics, plaster and pigments.
This project shows what could be called ‘the 80% crap’ that stands behind most design objects. Objects of beauty simply do not just come into being as the beauty mark on a human face does. These objects rest upon the multiple other experiments that have gone before and paved the way for their existence.