KILLINGS, daily columns and blog —

Column: Art / Music / Theatre

Home is where the art is

by Imogen , January 31, 2013Leave a comment

A hut by Sarah CrowEST. Featured in Craft Victoria's 'Magic Mountain' exhibition.

When Edmund de Waal released The Pot Book, fans gathering at the growing intersection of craft and art were rewarded. A compendium of pots from all periods, The Pot Book pairs decorative porcelain vases with simple, cheaply-manufactured plates for use in the home, each given the same artistic weighting and merit. It’s a visual reflection of de Waal’s assertion that, ‘in more recent times clay has been used not just by artisans and potters, but also by artists, designers and architects.’

I’ve always been drawn to ceramic wares. A long-time collector of clay vessels and bowls, I’ve always brought them into my home with the view that they were art pieces (noting things like the type of clay used, the firing process, the potters history). Many of these ceramic works are intended to be both domestic vessels –to have a use – and also to occupy a space in my home beyond their functionality. Domestic wares and the home domain are of late being more comprehensively reconsidered as artistic contributors, making a move away from pure utility, decoration or craft.

It’s impossible to ignore the rise in, and prolificacy of, blogs, retailers and publications devoted to hand-made interior decoration and handcrafted homewares. The Design Files, Apartamento, Finders Keepers, and so on. The compulsion to decorate our interior and personal spaces with handcrafted pieces has been given bonus currency; with the artisanal now being once again ticketed as art. Re-approaching and curating our living spaces, sharing them on social media, reading about them online, all reveals an obsession with perfecting our surrounds. In tandem with this movement is the gallery space.

Ben Barretto, Untitled (White), 2012, 165 x 252cm

A couple of years ago, Melbourne-based gallery Utopian Slumps presented artists’ works in the form of floor rugs in the group show, ‘In the Gardens’, curated by Misha Hollenbach. At AS gallery in Sydney, local artist Ben Barretto moved away from his usual-practiced medium of paint on canvas and presented woven wall-hangings for his show entitled ‘Weaves, Painting Paintings’. While the artists’ intention in each of these shows wasn’t to reference or re-contextualise the rug or a weaving beyond the domestic domain, it’s curious that the reference to domestic space, and a raising of the domestic object above its functionality, was present.

'In the Gardens' at Utopian Slumps gallery

A current group show at Craft Victoria, ‘Magic Mountain’, follows this gaze focused on the domestic space, considering the ‘notion of spacial [sic] and interior design, domestic decoration and the psychology behind creating personal or private space.’ Curated by Debbie Pryor, ‘Magic Mountain’ allows each artist to explore the nature of home, presented through a series of individually decorated huts. Of note, multi-medium artists Sarah CrowEST and Terry Williams present work that, while being a fantastical representation of domestic spaces, are significant in their interpretation of the home arena being considered as a creative, artistic space.

While there’s much left of the skepticism that dogs craft, a turning to the domestic space as a creative and legitimate arena for art means my small army of earthenware can sit secure on the shelf – their artistic currency is being fired up.

 

Belle Place is a Killings columnist and the Publishing Coordinator for Affirm Press. She lives and writes from Melbourne.




Frances Abbott

David Donaldson

Why #whitehousegate matters

A few days after the release of the budget, in which the Coalition government announced it was spreading the burden by increasing university fees, cutting school funding, and cutting welfare for young people comes a story that confirms what many already suspect to be the nature of opportunity: it’s much easier to come by if you’re born into privilege. Read more »

money

David Donaldson

When does lobbying become corruption?

Whether it’s Clive Palmer buying his way into parliament, the recent, varied ICAC revelations of dodgy fundraising in the NSW Liberal party, or the refusal or inability of successive governments to effectively tackle powerful corporate interests in industries like gambling, mining, media, and junk food, there is a feeling among many Australians that democracy is up for sale. Read more »

cluster munition

David Donaldson

How to make treaties and influence people

In an era when Russia can annex Ukrainian territory, when the Refugee Convention is regularly flouted, and when nobody seems to be able to do anything to stop the carnage in Syria, it can be tempting to ask: what can international law actually achieve? Read more »

My Salinger Year

Carody Culver

Searching for Mr Salinger

Joanna Rakoff’s book is ‘the truth, told as best [she] could’, of her year as an assistant at one of New York’s oldest literary agencies, a job for which many an Arts graduate would sell a kidney. Read more »

editing

Carody Culver

Giving voice to a silent profession

The role editors play in the process of ushering new writing into the world is both vitally important and strangely overlooked. Read more »

354_1

Hannah Kent

Highbrow vs Lowbrow: Hannah Kent defends Highbrow Literature

I understand why many people have a problem with highbrow literature. ‘Intellectual snobbery’ is a common accusation, as though the reason people read and write the stuff is solely to intimidate their dinner guests. ‘Highbrow literature is for wankers,’ I hear them say. Well, ladies and gentlemen, so is Fifty Shades of Grey. Read more »

Mariah Carey

Is she Mariah, the ‘elusive’ chanteuse?

Two weeks ago, Mariah Carey launched her fourteenth studio album, Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse. Yes, that’s the real name, and it’s hilarious not only because the title is so long and happily shameless but because Mariah has long styled herself as one of the least elusive pop stars in the pop music galaxy. Read more »

Douglass books

Julia Tulloh

High fantasy writers who aren’t George RR Martin, and who are also women

‘Tolkien is the greatest burden the modern fantasy author must labour under and eventually escape from if they are to succeed.’ So wrote Australian high fantasy writer, Sara Douglass, a decade and a half ago. Replace Tolkien with George RR Martin, and one might say the same principle applies today. Read more »

Conchita Wurst

Julia Tulloh

Why Eurovision 2014 was a bit disappointing

No one watches Eurovision to discover surprise new talent, or even to hear good singing. I watch it for the kitschy, pop-tastic visual onslaught which rarely fails to assault viewers. Read more »

Happy Christmas

Rochelle Siemienowicz

Joe Swanberg’s Real Women

In Happy Christmas, the female characters are a pleasure to watch, largely because they’re so familiar in life and so rarely depicted on screen. Read more »

Gabrielle

Rochelle Siemienowicz

Beyond tics, limps and prosthetics

Think of a disability – mental or physical – and there’s sure to be a film that features it. What about giving big roles to actors who actually live with the disability they’re depicting? Now that would be authentic. Read more »

Under the Skin

Rochelle Siemienowicz

Size Matters

Bigger isn’t always better, but some films will open themselves up to you and pour themselves out in new ways when you see them on a cinema screen. Read more »

5881861191_90de8b5bc9

Connor Tomas O'Brien

Making trolls eat their words

If we’re not conscious of a troll’s desired response, we risk inadvertently encouraging further trolling by allowing ourselves to be played. Read more »

filter

Reality vs. Instagram

It’s been over three years since Instagram launched, and we’re still not sure whether processing a photograph might be considered akin to doctoring a memory. Read more »

2014 Budget

Connor Tomas O'Brien

Could we crowdfund the dole?

Following the announcement of the 2014 budget, the director of a leading arts organisation posed a question on Facebook: ‘What recourse do the people have to stop these changes? What are next steps? Would be curious to know of any other effective measures to get the message across… apart from complaining on Twitter.’ Read more »

tumblr_inline_n6wz16ohb91r8e10g

Danielle Binks

YA is the New Black

Apparently those of us who do read and enjoy youth literature should be ‘embarrassed’. At least that’s what Ruth Graham said in her recent clickbait article for Slate, ‘Against YA’. Read more »

A Little Pretty Pocket Book

Danielle Binks

Who run the book world? GIRLS!

‘It’s no wonder boys aren’t reading – the children’s book market is run by women.’ So claimed the headline of an April article in The Times.

*Cue Liz Lemon eye-roll* Read more »

The Fault in Our Stars

Danielle Binks

The Fault in the Cult of John Green

I like John Green as much as the next YA-aficionado. I’ve snot-cried through his books, and chuckled over his YouTube videos. But now it’s time to talk about the media-led oversaturation of John Green, and the insulting way he’s been heralded as the saviour of young adult fiction. Read more »

splash

Chad Parkhill

Queering the Power: The Soft Pink Truth’s Why Do the Heathen Rage?

The Soft Pink Truth’s new album ‘Why Do the Heathen Rage’ demonstrates that despite their superficial differences, dance music and black metal have a lot in common. Read more »

The Knife

Chad Parkhill

Never Settled: The Knife’s Shaken-Up Versions

Making live electronic music engaging is a difficult task, and The Knife’s Silent Shout tour shows a band committed to breaking the visual cliché of performers standing still behind banks of electronic equipment. Read more »

Tori Amos

Chad Parkhill

Loving (and hating) Tori Amos

Tori Amos is hardly to blame for the existence of her fans’ expectations, nor for their disappointment when her work does not live up to them – but that doesn’t prevent that disappointment from feeling intensely personal. Read more »

Alg-90210-jpg

Stephanie Van Schilt

Sick-Person TV

The only upside to getting sick was the many afternoons I spent curled up on the couch at home, watching daytime TV. I inhaled the drama of pre-recorded episodes of Beverley Hills 90210 while playing with my Brandon and Dylan sticker collection (interspersed with sporadic vomiting). Read more »

The_Million_Dollar_Drop_logo

Nicholas J Johnson

Highbrow vs Lowbrow: Nicholas J Johnson defends Lowbrow TV

I can’t stop looking at Eddie McGuire’s smug, stupid face. It’s not my fault. It’s just I’ve never been this close to the man before, and it’s not until now that I’ve realised how oddly smooth and tanned his skin is. As if someone has stretched the orange bladder from a football over a slab of marble. Read more »

deadwood-03-1024

Zora Sanders

Highbrow vs Lowbrow: Zora Sanders defends Highbrow TV

I’m going to be honest with you. I feel a little guilty being gifted highbrow TV as a subject to defend. Highbrow TV doesn’t need a defender! It’s a battle that has been won! Highbrow TV is downright fucking awesome and every single person reading this already knows it. Read more »