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Week 5 - more thinking and reflection

So, it's still all about understanding what interests you, how you think and how you approach a project - challenging.

Friday was a visit to National Museum of Wales, Cardiff with Claire Curneen taking us around the ceramics collection. Every time I visit I see something new. This week I had been reading an old ceramics journal and had seen an article about Stephen Dixon and his work, so it was great to see a piece of his work of the same period (1990's) in a display case - it is so different from his current work, yet you can see how his work has moved from one to the other - the skill, narrative and approaches are very similar.

A time reflecting on the Gordon Baldwin "altered bowl" was great - seeing his use of line and edges - some left clear whilst others are edged to highlight the form. A seemingly useful form that is almost unusable - which creates a visual intrigue. Seemingly unconnected was my time with one of Julian Stair's vessels from "Quietus" - here there is a function, a narrative and great skill, but what attracts me is the texture, along with the joins highlighted by ripped clay deposits, defining the act of connection. In both works the detail of the texture is unique to clay - the act of tearing and ripping captured in the material, holding the action of the maker - a degree of serendipity as well as the planned skill - a deliberate act by the artist.

The reflection of detail within making is mixing with my reading of Certain Welsh Artists edited by Iwan Bala. Here the idea of Custodial Aesthetics in relation to the work and narrative of Welsh artists is explored. "The root strength of much art lies precisely in its local, indigenous contexts, ..." This text gives me confidence that my work can come from my interests and background, and has the potential to add to the engagement with others on those topics - of course, if it is done well, creative, etc. More will follow on the idea of Custodial Aesthetics and how it can relate to my interest in the people, geology and industry of south Wales.

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