Writing on Materiality


Writing on Materiality with students from the Art and Design Undergraduate course at University of Leeds, Nov 2016.
I asked each student to bring an object that they had made or found. Each explored their selected object without talking or writing - looking, listening, touching and smelling, and after a period of close investigation they wrote a short text in response to this experience.
Writing can be a means to focus and ask questions about an object, to make time with it and explore the details. Also the way in which students chose to write about their objects revealed their particular interests in the materials that made up these objects, and their relationship to language when exploring materiality.
Lauren Goldthorpe
Weaving, knotting, twisting, experimenting to build up layers upon layers, line upon line. The plastic wire is soft, malleable and flexible, yet the surface is tough and strong, the object can be twisted and shaped, yet when trying to pull or tear, there is no give.
Networks, systems, nests and mesh spring to mind when viewing the object, with layers that weave and form into one another. I think about the continuation of line as the wire weaves between, under, through, above and below other wires, how the line is lost as it is weaved and layered, trying to follow it with your finger quickly loses direction. Handling the object is with ease, light material that is comfortable to hold, smooth yet bumpy, soft yet tough. Its lightweight structure adds to its flexibility, as it can exist on many surfaces; floating, hanging, standing.
Domestic material makes up the plastic wire shape, reminiscent to telephone or washing line wire it makes me think about how these things also relate to the idea of network, as a way of connecting or bringing things together. The object has a certain organic form about it also, that relates to natural systems and molecular structures.
Knotting and weaving processes that make up the object show a tactile tendency of making, one which is reflected when touching and handling it also.
Elodie Philip
Cluster; hard base
Bits of crystals and flakes coming off
Containment within the jar
The colour that changes over time with heat/light/temperature
Flake bits off but cannot get great clusters
How it relates to space
Lack of space between each crystal the shape above and the space of the surrounding room
The dirty exterior of the jar contrasts well with the more sparkling interior
Time and growth/change
Process of writing allows what you want to say come out
Christopher Pearson
In order to explore actions of pouring, spilling and dropping in relation to colour, weight and physicality, I used pigmented polyurethane foam on various surfaces such as balloons, foil, cling film and other readymade everyday items. I found that when the liquid meets these surfaces it seeps out and gradually expands in size depending on how long I wait for the two-part foam mixture to react and grow before pouring. The nature of this material seems to be almost breathing and alive as it expands.
The organic form that the material took was only defined once the matter had finished oozing over what it was poured onto and therefore provided a representation of the actions used to produce it. Despite appearances of wetness and heaviness, the now solid sculptural results are lightweight and, due to the reaction process, full of air. It is perhaps due to this contrast of perception and reality that the work seems to encourage tactility and a sense of physical curiosity.
Emily Poole
Its interesting how objects hang, what suspends them and what makes them grip to other things, when wire or cable is looped together what makes it sit and touch the next piece? If gravity is pulling it downwards why does it not just fall, it is held up by another object of the same weight? When two pieces of wire touch they become related to each other and change the appearance of the other by moving it to make way for itself. It is also interesting how when a knot is formed the pieces of material touch and somehow stay in the same place due to the friction that is created, the opposing object causes the other one to stop moving and hold still. What is interesting about hanging objects is the way that when hanging a heavy object from a few lighter objects such as pieces of string, why do they not fall, why does gravity hold them if they are weighed down by a much heavier object.