Blog

Firings and Reflections

I am looking forward to getting my work out of the kiln this week. I covered it in the black slip recipe I recorded in my last blog post and sprayed with the crackle slip recipe 60% High Alkali Frit and40% Magnesium Carbonate fired to 1100°C

The result was very pleasing, I am looking at the space Heidegger calls 'Being Towards Death' and I am trying to convey this in my work, hence a fragile cracking appearance almost illustrating a breakdown in organic matter, a peeling as such, or disease. I can develop this idea and glaze more introducing colours and degrees of peeling, cracking etc.

I need to prepare for my presentation and start to focus on my extended essay. I have been reading a lot of Heidegger especially relating to Authenticity and 'Being Towards Death'. I personally relate to this through my own illness and consciousness of my own finitude. I am struggling with what it means to be authentic in practical terms. I can only understand it on the basis that it is a separation from what Heidegger refers to as the 'They Self' or the 'Everyday' in other words the day to day lives that we lead constantly distracting us from our own mortality. I am very interested in this juxtaposition between the authentic and inauthentic Dasein that Heidegger proposes exists whilst 'Being Towards Death'. I have ordered a few books from the library to try and focus on this area. I have also been struggling with signifiers to incorporate into my work but am developing a few ideas of trying to introduce signifiers that shift between the authentic and inauthentic lives of Being. I think reading accounts of artists or people who have been diagnosed with terminal illness may help me to understand others accounts of this.

I know when I was diagnosed and given 5 years to live prior to combination therapy for terminal illness I drastically changed my life. I had always dreamed of having a studio and pursuing a creative life but had fallen into the day to day of working, career, material possessions etc, I am supposing that this is the inauthenticity Heidegger is referring to but on my diagnosis I quit my job, hired a studio and made handmade tiles for a few years. I also traveled to see a friend in Colombia and spent my pension that I had only started paying into two years before. Ironically after finding myself in this period of authenticity and later changes in  care I then had to almost start again. from facing my own mortality I found myself in a position of having to earn money, save for a mortgage and start another pension. I am interested in how others have reflected on a similar experience.

UncategorizedDean Coates