After a long three week break I returned to college this week. The time off was good, it allowed me to read and and start to research the subject of my extended essay. I had started with Heidegger 'Being and Time' and started to explore the idea of 'Death Anxiety'. Initially I started researching artists that explore death and those that have been facing death which led me on to Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe who both died in the US of AIDS. There were many artists lost to AIDS in the 80's, the creative scheme in New York was particularly hit by the epidemic. This gave rise to a series of creatives making work that references AIDS and HIV as a disease, the politics, the fight, individual struggle, death and loss. It contextualises 'Death Anxiety' for me. (Refer to Simon Critchley opposition of Heidegger's opinion that only one can experience ones own death, relevant here as those lovers that lost partners) I want to research this for my extended essay, it is linked directly with my own interest, experience and studio practice. When talking with Pete in my tutorial and discussing my forms, the finishes and direction I felt pleased that I had start to link my theory and practice and position my studio based work in context.

There are key themes emerging in the studio context

  • Tensions/Battles/Triumphs/Defeat between existence and disease
  • Past/Present/Future, process, monuments, experience, history
  • Developing forms that communicate the, Familiar/Unfamiliar, Decay/Disease, Past/Present/Future, Triumph/Defeat, the dichotomies of threats to our own existence

I also got my glaze tests out of the kiln. I had mixed Magnesium Carbonate and High Alkali Frit in different percentages. The mixture I had applied to the earlier sculptural piece was slightly powdery and not fixed to the ceramic in parts. The results are below, reducing the Frit/increasing Mag Carb content made the crackle glaze more opaque, increased gaps between cracks but lessens the vitrification to the ceramic. I will explore more of these glazes and clay bodies as my work develops but also explore ways to illustrate decay to an audience that is more experiential e.g. temporal works by Phoebe Cummings, Astbury or Wroath.

I will continue to build structures that occupy a space but also those that occupy space around i.e. negative spaces. Perhaps incorporating signifiers, a continuum of familiar or unfamiliar that relate to the context of my work. Looking at cause and effect, past present and future.

UncategorizedDean Coates