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The Shape of Time: Affective Weathering and Material Mutability




Newton, Stephen

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THE SHAPE OF TIME: A PRACTICE-LED INQUIRY INTO AFFECTIVE WEATHERING AND MATERIAL MUTABILITY This practice-led research project investigates weathering as a sculptural process and studies how changes in material can embody memory and suggest place. The idea developed in connection to Moreton Island, a small sand island off the east coast of Australia, shaped by natural phenomena and the elements. In the research Moreton Island is a departure point underpinning a philosophy of change and impermanency. The intention of the project is to engage time-based, phenomenal methodologies with wood as a way to generate unexpected and unplanned forms. This approach to making sculpture circumvents ideas about the art object and its agency. In contrast to a dualistic model of making and perception, the research in this project is underpinned by the Japanese Mono-ha philosophy, meaning 'school of things'. The Mono-ha philosophy rejects representation in favour of revealing material properties and conditions. The results of this research project are discrete groups of sculpture in wood which have been affected by sun, wind, fire, water, abrasion and oxidation. These natural processes involve maker, tool and material in a correspondence which attempts to shape sculpture devoid of representation and referents. The resulting sculptures are indications of time and change, ongoing systems trailing material history and provenance. They are forms which invite one to reflect on the nature of time, memory and place.






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