I'm getting ready for my Ceramic Artist presentation this week in class. My ceramic assignments are all done. I'm just waiting for the last two to come out of the kiln. So this presentation will be my final grade. And yes, we've discussed that I'm hoping to get an A (I tried not to care too much about grades, but it turns out I do! LOL), but there is something I hope I leave the kids with this presentation. This is the quote that made me decide that Rob Barnard would be "my" artist...
“In an effort to explain to me what separated pedantic and indifferent ceramic art from the kind of ceramic art that makes us reflect on the very nature of our existence, Yagi held up his index finger and pointed it straight up. This represented, he said, the predictably beautiful; then he turned his finger 90°, parallel to the floor, saying that this position represented what we all commonly think of as ugly. The two positions have a tendency to be fixed in culture, but—and he moved his finger to a position 45° between those two points—it is here, he said, where real Art takes place, vibrating between the beautiful and the ugly.” (Between Points in Clay, by Rob Barnard, Ceramic Monthly June 1995)
I loved that description of art. But there's more. When I write a book, or an artist creates their art, it belongs to us. We bring our intent and vision to the book/piece. And then we're done. At that point we turn it over to our readers/observers. They own it at that point. They bring their own vision to it. They like it, they don't. They hate it, they love it. They see something totally different in it than the writer/artist intended.
Even if the readers/viewer feel they're completely alone in experiencing the book/art, they're not. The person who created it is a part of their experience. Even if what they are taking from it is totally different than intended.
That interaction between the creator and the observer is a dance and it takes place somewhere between Yagi's beauty and ugliness in art.
That's what I'm hoping to leave the kids with at the end of my talk.
Literature and art are important. They have a function. They make us all look for ourselves in someone else's vision. And when we find that piece of ourselves in someone else's work, maybe we realize that we are not alone. That we're all connected. We are all part of that dance.
Thanks to all my new followers here at Hollyworld, and as always a special thanks to all of you who've supported me and hung out with me all these years!