My recurring fascination with Eastern aesthetics and philosophy is apparent in my research and work this term. Kyoto’s Ryōan-ji Zen temple is currently my most referred to visual, and exists at the centre of my studio practice. My study of Zen Buddhism, Mathematics in relation to art, and Joachim Kaak’s art book on Hanne Darboven/John Cage has triggered many abstract thoughts. These curiosities seem to be lacking from my physical work despite their active presence in my mind. Recently, I have been struggling with translating my ideas into physical artworks. This term, I intend to relax into an organic form of making, and allow for my work to go off on unexpected tangents. My practice up to this point has been methodical and fairly regimented and I enjoy this way of working. Annette has encouraged me, however, to make work that aesthetically appears to be not obviously mine.
Despite this, I want to continue to write, literally, and within my work. I consider the work I made last year to be an abstract dialogue, a cyclical conversation that will eventually continue, yet one that I have temporarily abandoned. At the beginning of this term I was inducted into the casting workshop and I intend to make 15 replicas of my lithography limestone in plaster or wax. In Zen philosophy, 15 equates to completeness. The limestone, due to its universality, may act as a translator to create links between time, language, cultures and space. I aim to mimic the calculated, yet organic and raw nature of Japanese aesthetics. They are ordered in a way, which attempts to make sense of the world. I intend to introduce rhythmic gestures into my practice and consider the way that one navigates measured and abstract space.
Recently I have come to discover the parallels between mathematics and art, both subjects require open-mindedness and a determination to achieve definitive clarity. I consider myself to be writing art, much like a mathematician would write maths. My work continues as a long process of ‘workings out’, without awareness of an eventual answer. I will remain writing this abstract interchange between the work, and myself creating an unassuming record of transitional time.
Vast, relentless, and beautiful, Hanne Darboven’s work sits inside the structure of time. The artist is considered a trace, often-existing ‘in-between’. She considers herself to be a writer, which insinuates language, and language is what happens between things. Much like a mathematician writes maths, Darboven through ‘writing time’ obsessively attempts to rationalise. Darbovens works are dematerialized, ‘The extent to which irrationality is taken can be so obsessive and so personal that rationality is finally subverted and the most conceptual art can take on an aura of the utmost irrationality…the works themselves…pass directly from the intellectual to the senuous, almost entirely bypassing the visual’ (Joachim Kaak’s on Hanne Darboven/John Cage, page 25). Although I haven’t experienced the Ryonaji Temple Zen Garden, I would imagine, you are quietened into the sensuous meditative state, as one is confronted/confronts the calculated and acutely measured garden of stones.
This term I am attending the Art and Philosophy FACS lectures and hope to transfer my philosophical thoughts onto my studio practice. I am fascinated by Kant’s critique of reason and the a priori and a posteriori theory. A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience, as with mathematics (3 + 2 = 5) whereas A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience. I think my interest in Zen gardens is grounded in the relationship between evidential and sensorial truth. Does ones subjectivity dissolve in the face of subliminal experiences?
In my opinion, Kitawaki Noboru’s ‘Ryoanji garden’ ink drawing 1939 is reminiscent of constellations. Constellations exist as a natural abstract yet a connected diagram of space and time, which has depth beyond comprehension. I enjoy the way that something grounded is reminiscent and reflective of a universally true existence that is far beyond us.