How an item relates to its context

How does an item relate to its context? Sometimes the two can’t be separated!! At least, well, not this time.

I made these plasticine flowers in response to a piece of music which was played to the Constellation class.

Place/item/holderThe idea behind this has to do with Phenomenology.  Sometimes an object is so greatly influenced by the environment in which it was created, that you can go as far as to say that without the particular set of stimuli in place, The object would not exist at all.

In this case, the environment includes: the music, the materials with which I had been provided (a Piece of wire bent in half, a lump of green plasticine) the classmates, the time of day (3pm), the events immediately leading up to the class, my own personal memories and experiences, my mood, the extent of my desire to participate, how much I had slept the night before, and maybe even what I had eaten for breakfast that morning, or my lunch.

I recognised the music as Tudor-era pastoral music, so decided to make flowers.  I remembered how when I had been on the Ceramics Department trip to Spode we had seen how delicate flowers were made in their thousands through repetitive gesture, by hand – and I tried the technique I had seen there with the plasticine.

It was quite an experience and I was very glad to be able to learn about Tim Ingold’s exerpt on basket-weaving and his views on phenomenology.  I think I want to include this topic in my essay, as I found it to be arresting and interesting both to learn about and to discuss as a class.


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