Last night and this morning I have been writing an essay on my response to an art exhibition titled “Robin Wood’s Cores Recycled”, it was quite an enjoyable if slightly self indulgent experience. The exhibition is a collection of pieces by some of the best wood artists in the world and as a starting point they were all given one of the waste cores from my workshop. The results are remarkably variable and quite spectacular. For me several of them have a great deal of meaning. Since they are all effectively comments on my work and any artist or craftsperson values the opinions of respected peers above any critic it is all very touching. What I liked most of all is that many folk have chosen to change the core very little, instead changing it’s context to create a new piece of art.
Every piece is presented in a good slide show here along with images from the gallery exhibition.
This one is by Neil Turner
Hiyami Arakawa made “Capsule Hermetica, a container for an object of rarefied distinction” I love the story, of how this piece came about. He kept the piece in his office for some time turning it about and wondering what to do with it then one day the core was picked up mistaken for a portable hard drive, he had to give a lecture with no powerpoint that day but it made him think of the core in different way. For me the following piece of writing is art enough and the physical work he made just adds to it “I imagined this ovoid chunk of densely packed fibre as an organic hard drive of sorts, a repository of knowledge, history, fact, mythology…an ‘artifactoid” if you will.”
I wish I could have written those words. I guess I think of my own bowls as being repositories of knowledge, history, tradition, heritage. I have handled bowls a thousand years old and still the mark of every stroke of the lathe is visible and tells a story if you can read it. I can read the sharpness of the tool, the state of the wood, the skill of the turner, all this has been passed down for 2000 years, it is remarkable and rare.
Have a look at the website and see what you think, which are your favourites? the essay is the foreword for a book which will be coming out in due course.