Sunday, January 21, 2007

Craft is Us - reclaim the right to define

Redefining Craft CODA by Dennis Stevens is a *must* listen to podcast for all craft based artists, and certainly informative to artists in general. Many friends of Windbag and Thunder will feel reassured to hear Dennis discuss issues that we as craft artists are facing today, but most importantly it reaffirms the inside view of creativity as the place to speak on art and craft practice, its development and its wisdom.

Many of us will recognise ourselves in the description of Distributed Learning Communities and Communities of Practice as we whole-heartedly embrace the potential of Web 2.0 Internet connectivity.

There are so many areas within the podcast worth discussing. I was very excited after listening to it and I'll be going back over it in the future. If there are any areas you'd like to discuss after you listen to it (approx. 30mins), please let's discuss it in the comments. I'll even the discuss why I've chosen to illustrate this post with a 19th century Tibetan Tsakli painting of a double bird headed flying scorpion.

Special mention to Shibori Girl and Jude for the link to this podcast :)


Anonymous said...

Okay, is it just me. I can't get a link.

Florence Forrest said...

Hi Shula, I just checked it out and while it works fine in Firefox (the brower I use most) the link doen't work at all (even via the link from his blog) on IE7 and probably the older versions of IE though can't say as to that. How annoying!

Do you have Firefox? Its a great brower and its open source ;) you can get it at Firefox 2

As I always say "Two browsers are better that one"

Dennis' Blog address is Redefiningcraft


Jean-Luc Picard said...

I couldn't get a link either, Florence. I'm sure I missed something good.

Florence Forrest said...

It's crazy! It seems it works for some I've asked to check but not other?
Jean-luc what browser and version do you use?


Anonymous said...

It's was very encouraging to find this (via Spiritcloth). I'm going to check it out again when I have more time. It would be good to hear what you have to say, Florence.

Anonymous said...

yes , i will listen over the weekend again and focus in a little....i am having a very busy work week and i know you have been busy too.

lotusgreen said...

i adore that tile, florence--those colors are amazing.

i haven't listened to this, but the subject is close to my heart. so many cultures do not make that arbitrary distinction.

i wonder also, now that i think about it, what of this is that standard old boogyman of discounting women's work (though of course not all makers of craft are women)

Florence Forrest said...

A few interesting things to consider is that the word artist first appears in a French dictionary as meaning a magician, alchemist or astrologer, in fact an occultist (Occult meaning- that which is hiden).

Much later, it was Leonardo De Vince (a bastard son of a noble man) who argued that painting should belong to the liberal arts and not the manual arts because it uses the mind and was quite clean (unlike sculpting he avered - he was a rival of Michaelangelo) and thus fitting for a gentleman. The liberal arts where such arts as mathematics, grammer, logic etc.

(These points are summerised from the book, "Art and Scholasticism" a book I've loned out and so can't give you any further biliography on.)

One of the most important points that Dennis' seminar stresses is that we need not look to the established western art world for a sense of worth/validation.

Something that has always stuck with me was a comment I once read by a Japanese woman when asked about her work as a woman, in the statement she said that woman don't feel the need to compete with men as they have their own world that is interesting to them. So firstly us as woman should value what we do, regardless of male validation. As we do make up at least if not more that 50% of the population we are sure to be doing something interesting, no? ;)

Regardless of classification the creative expressions of the human being all steer towards finding meaning and seeking wisdom, craft (in its broadest terms) seems to me to be the most valuable step in cultivating the mindfulness to go deeper into the self.

The image I have chosen has revealed itself to me over the past week. Of course, with such things their appearence at a certain time within a particular context will have a slightly altered meaning but in this context I'll explain myself of its purpose:

The scorpion represents the unconscious yet powerful forces but here there is a transformation - it is bird-headed and coupled with the eyes on the segments or vertebrae and the fire of divine spirit, the power that was sublimated has become conscious and creative. It is a vision of great potential transformed into a living reality.

If you were to read the description of this card from the website whence I got it from you might have been deceived as it is a poor interpretation. This reminds me once again of what Dennis speaks of and what I myself am constantly reminded of: that what is writen is largely only what someone else has thought of and that thought might be a poor one, you indeed might have a better one so do not be intimidated by what has gone before you.

all my love,


Anonymous said...

Can a distinction be made between Western art world and Western art history? As i recall vaguely,Dennis spoke of art history rather than art world.

Thinking out loud...

Belief in one self, one's experience as valid - that , in actual fact it doesnt require validation!!, is always being underminded, in Art Histroy discourse, whehter post modenist or not. It seems so arrogant, for the arbiters of Taste connected to academia, institutions in regards to thought and practice, to assume that they have a hold on the most vital real, valid experience
It is quite condescending. who is to say who has achieved the "real thing" and how it should happen? After all what is the goal? who defines the goals of this life?
Each of us are equally enodowed in terms of 'Being'. How we go about understanding that Being, is not necessarily well understood or monitored by Westen art History.

And as you point out Florence, even if it has been done before, has it really been done the way you want to do it, For ones own at present percieved needs related to ones environemnt that might be quite different to an englishman or an american?

The notion 'Professional', for me has a question mark about it, when considered in relation to Chinese thought on this term.

If we think of 'love', can we be professional in love?

The artisan/artist does things best when in love, when in devotion, but also when challenging a convention or adapting it, and least when meeting the needs of the stomach, the market place, or group validation.

....and so on

Florence Forrest said...

Shango, yes you picked up that error for me, you're right of course.

I always look forward to your comments.

Its interesting the different things we each pick up on, I'll have to listen to the podcast again and hear it in a new way....

also,Delacroix wrote in 1893 when speaking of beauty in art, "A Greek and an Englishman are each beautiful in his own way, which has nothing in common with the other."