I wish to tell a story…..
Let’s start with a late modern space and a ‘maker’; a skilled worker using traditional, tacit (some say conservative and nostalgic) skills in a reflective, repetitive, measured rhythm to create a meticulously finished piece identifiable by the caring mark of the skilled hand. In this tale, I will involve Zigmunt Bauman, Rosalind Krauss, Kevin Murray and Sue Rowley who will help with ideas about tradition and background, the anonymity and originality of the maker and how the maker may fit a late modern space. I will discuss the following questions:
The anonymous maker, are they alone? Will the object tell the story? Are the object and/ or the story significant or relevant in the individual, ephemeral, disposal space of modernity?
I contend that a handcrafted object is imbibed with temporality, creativity, reflexivity and the individuality of the maker. A useful object acquiring the patina of handling valued and cared for as it assumes a place in the maker’s story but also over time, the users’ stories. The materiality and the utilitarianism are only part of the object’s function, it may be sacred, celebratory, or it may be making a political comment… At another time, a story is gleaned about the community and culture in which it was formed. But, will there be a story? As Bauman argues, the demise of the narrative is also a consequence of late modernity.
It unfolds that the maker, the object and their stories, record significant creative research that communicates, as Murray puts it, in a “language of representing the world”.
by Annette Nykiel