Master of Creative Arts by Research
Faculty of Creative Arts
Jones, Matthew, Playing with fire, MCA-Res thesis, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 2006. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/57
This research paper examines the essential considerations of my role as a Father, as they reflect and inform my practice as a sculptor. Using initial collaborations with my 5-year-old daughter as a conceptual trajectory, I began to explore domestic rhythms and the communality of multiple objects. Ceramic artist Angela Valamanesh and ‘Outsider’ Howard Finster were found to represent the polarities – austere and chaotic – of repetition.
Artistic engagement with the congenital temperament of a child initiated a return to base sculptural principles, bare materials and processes, pre-dating history and evoking the archetype of childhood. This considered regression led to the development of an exploratory ceramic practise upon the beaches, bush and farmland of South Coast New South Wales, culminating in the ephemeral performance object of a ceramic pit-fire.
Formally, I have adopted the universal anthropomorphism of the vessel, consciously grouped and presented as the individual members of small ‘communities’. This method of production resolved itself in the suggestive vacancy of the ‘dwelling’, and the discovery of a largely undocumented international tendency within contemporary art. Artists, including Charles Simmonds, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Katarzyna Jozefowicz and Graham Seaton, create uninhabited environments from tiny assembled modules, achieving the accumulation of a multitude. Similarly, my own work culminates in a series of miniature landscapes, experienced both as amorphous playthings and votive objects.
My research demonstrates that, through various natural correlations, the roles of ‘artist’ and ‘parent’ are adequately conflated.