What do you see?

Do you see the detail in ordinary, everyday objects that surround us?  I do; usually to the frustration of anyone that accompanies me on a walk, on holiday, out shopping… anywhere really.  They end up waiting while I take photos of streetlamps, window grills, cracks in the footpath…

This detail and some of these images will become the basis for my MA work.  Using the banal and everyday objects as the focus, rather than something to be overlooked, is not a new concept though.  Other artists to have done this previously include Marcel Duchamp and Sue Timney.

"Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp, 1917

Duchamp’s Fountain took a found object (also known as ready-mades) and made it art.  The “…porcelain urinal was to become the most important and notorious of the ‘ready-mades,’ which revolutionized the possibilities for artmaking through their direct use of manufactured consumer products.” (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art).

Sue Timney is a textile designer who uses found objects and photographs together with her own drawings to create her images.

"Bows and Arrows" by Timney-Fowler, 1982-1983

Many of Sue Timney’s designs begin as a type of scrapbook exercise; free-associating images that otherwise appear disconnected, with no justification.  This is not dissimilar to the work of the Surrealists with their unexpected juxtapositions, or the Victorian’s combination of images in scrapbooking, decoupage and collage. “Bows and Arrows” is a wrought-iron design on cotton sateen, with the detail taken from an iron railing in London – would you have noticed the pattern?

Putting together random images taken from the detail of everyday items around us intrigues me.  What do you see?



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