Craft Redefined

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Making Sparks
ceramics, industrial society, clay, humanoid figure, found objects, making sparks, caution, recreating castoff pieces, packaging, hazardous materials warning, torso, paint and varnish remover container, sculpture, human-like figure,
description

The work presented here, Making Sparks, is one of a  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of  ceramicPottery or hollow clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln or oven to make them harder and stronger. Types include earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, and terra cotta. (Artlex.com)  works that Anderson created at around the same time and using the same theme. Instead of using Western themes, however, this  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  is related to a more  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  industrial society.

start quoteWe're inundated with images, and images in rapid succession, to the point where things become juxtaposed that wouldn't ordinarily be juxtaposed, and you develop these relationships.end quote-- Bruce Anderson

The vertical, loosely humanoid figures in the  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  appear to have been made of  foundAn image, material, or object, not originally intended as a work of art, that is obtained, selected, and exhibited by an artist, often without being altered in any way. The cubists, dadaists, and surrealists originated the use of found images / materials / objects. Although it can be either a natural or manufactured image / material / object, the term readymade refers only to those which were manufactured. Also known in the French, objet trouvé. (Artlex.com)  objects – boxes, containers, parts of machines or tools and the like. In fact, Anderson observed how his children used leftover packaging in their play, and became interested in how he might re-create castoff bits and pieces in  ceramicPottery or hollow clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln or oven to make them harder and stronger. Types include earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, and terra cotta. (Artlex.com)  form. In Making Sparks he has re-created the packaging, using ceramics, right down to the hazardous materials warnings at the base of the figure.

The figure’s torso in Making Sparks is modeled after a tin of paint and varnish remover, while the twig-like “arms” are about to make sparks by bringing two hammers together. If a spark were to result, the likely outcome would be an explosion. Anderson seems to be suggesting that we human beings often knowingly set ourselves up for injury or death, by our own hands, like the  foundAn image, material, or object, not originally intended as a work of art, that is obtained, selected, and exhibited by an artist, often without being altered in any way. The cubists, dadaists, and surrealists originated the use of found images / materials / objects. Although it can be either a natural or manufactured image / material / object, the term readymade refers only to those which were manufactured. Also known in the French, objet trouvé. (Artlex.com)  object  figure1.  The form of a human, an animal or a thing; most often referring to an entire human form.  2.  A person of note (i.e., an important figure in history...)  in Making Sparks.

additional resources Art Career Has Been Fun
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Size: 6100kb
Making Sparks
Duration: 2:05 min
Size: 8887kb
Post-Modern Approach to Art
Duration: 1:44 min
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Swift Current Big Sky
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The Art of Craft
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Things to Think About
  • Have you ever met or seen a real cowboy? What do you think it would be like to be a cowboy? nbsp; Looking at cowboy poetry may provide some insight.  Go to the website Cowboy Poetry at Canadian Cowboy Country for some examples.
  • Is Anderson suggesting that all of us collectively, are acting like daredevils in the way we treat the environment?  Do you agree with him?
Advanced Activity

Viewing and understanding visual art: how an art piece is “born” through seven features of visual art.

Theme, product, subject, media, style, function, design

  • Bruce Anderson’s work is another example of how artists present their ideas through a playful and imaginative approach, melding and incorporating each of these aspects.  Consider the following while looking carefully at  Anderson’s artwork.

Theme

  • Art is about ideas, not just something fun or pretty to look at. Artists, like people in other fields of work, are interested in finding out and exploring information about various topics, from the environment, to abstract mathematical theories, to memory — and on and on! They might work on a theme for many years, to research and discover possibilities within a broad (or narrow) category. This is often referred to as an artist’s “body” of work.

Product

 
Subject

Media

Style

Design

Function

  • This does not necessarily imply usefulness, but perhaps whether the artist  is successful in communicating to the viewer through the artwork.
Online Activity
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Create safety/hazard robots using Anderson’s work for inspiration.

  • Use the shapes icon in the centre box under the drawing window to select items/words to build your robot.
  • Close the shapes window once you have selected all the items you want to work with.
  • You can then drag the items around in the drawing window, and use the fill function to add colours.
  • If you wish, you can click on Start Over to clear the drawing window and start over again.

 

Studio Activity

Anderson’s artwork suggests ideas about our use of explosive and corrosive materials. The playful robot figure might imply that we often use these in a haphazard way.

A TV commercial

  • Use a video recorder.
  • Decide on a product to feature;  it can be real or invented.
  • Decide what effect you want to create.  Brainstorm for ideas by watching commercials' use of colour.
  • Add a catchy jingle to your commercial.
  • Consider using performers in costume.
  • Here are some resources to check out:

A  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  for a poster that you want to be made into a billboard

  • Here are some examples
  • Ad 1 Ad 2 Ad 3 Ad 4

A comic/cartoon-style insert to be included in a newspaper or flyer

Sequential photo  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  with captions

References

Anderson, Bruce.  Artist Statement: New Artists/New Works 1994.  Exhibition catalogue, Muttart Art Gallery, Calgary, 1994.

Posyniak, Suzanne.  Bruce Anderson:  MythA traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society. (Artlex.com)  of a West.  Exhibition catalogue, Rosemont Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1994.

Richmond, Cindy.  Outside Arcady: Four Regina Artists.  Exhibition catalogue, Swift Current National Exhibition Centre, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, 1989.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning