Hand Making Community
The world economic downturn, global warming debates and natural disasters have led to questioning of societal and cultural values and priorities. In 2009 Martine Postma launched the first Repair Café in Amsterdam, aimed to curb the attitude prevalent in a consumerist society that disposal and replacement is preferable to repair, and the associated loss of skill. Repair Café’s have since emerged internationally. The emergence in 2011 of the Occupy Wall Street movement, its persistence, and then subsequent spread of the movement internationally, has been read as symbol of dissatisfaction with the contemporary world economic structure. The proliferation of online and real ‘craft’ outlets for home made, hand made, allowing purchases direct from the maker, and the emergence of movements like guerilla knitters and sewing circles all suggest a reconnection with making, people, networks and materials. On a personal level, my values and systems of thinking as a maker and an artist have similarly gone through a transition in motivation and process. This paper traces the transition in thinking as informed by the response to materials and a changing awareness of the responsibility and role of the artist. Ideas that have informed this way of rethinking practice include observations of the emergence of international grass roots initiatives such as mentioned above and the writings of Architect William McDonough, Chemist Michael Braungart, Academic Glenn Adamson, Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Art and Critical Theory Howard Risatti, Sociologist Richard Sennett, Environmentalists Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, Academic and Activist Raj Patel and Academic Philosopher Michael Crawford. This paper addresses practice as thinking and thinking as practice.
International Conference on Research Creativity: Praxis
Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting)