Breathing Volume, 2009
Breathing Volume is a series of 3 plaster sculptures - Gather, Accumulate, Absorb ? and one bronze called: Let Go. All four sculptures articulate the area around the mouth, chin and neck of the human body. This is an area that changes continuously; when you walk, move your head ? it changes even when you do nothing. Just breathe ? in and out - and you?ll swallow the space.
The theme of the sculptures for The Art of Fashion is recurrent in Filmer?s work. She always reflects on the relationship between inside and outside; positive and negative space and the presence or absence of the body. With this theme, Filmer seems to follow a tradition in art that started with the Italian Futurists at the beginning of the 20th century. Like Filmer, the futurists were anxious to visualise movement in space.
I really liked the concept of her work, "wearable objects about the body", where she lies in the relationship between body, object and the absence of an object. I admired the way that she worked on the level of feelings when wearing it rather than the objects itself. Her work imposes body posture on the models, causing a unique sensation. Filmer focuses on isolated anatomical areas as if they were jewels in their own right. She asks herself "what's more important: the objects you wear or the flesh that wears the object?". Her work aims at defining aesthetics and emotions.
At first, I wasn't satisfied with the decision of my group to choose Filmer as the practitioner inspiration, as I've never been much interested in jewellery and thought that a fine artist would be a better choice for the research task. As I started looking up her work online and watching interviews about her, I completely changed my opinion. I admire the balance and fluidity of the forms she creates. I look at them as sculptures which are physically and emotionally attached to a human body and its condition. She wants to change the person who wears it. Filmer has a power of visualising life and creating new situations. Hearing her speak about the concepts and philosophy behind her work enabled me to understand its spiritual and visual aspects.
David Mach, Precious Light
Naomi Filmer is a contemporary jewellery designer/artist, who describes her work as ‘objects about the body’ rather than jewellery. After completing a master’s degree in Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art, London 1993, Filmer acquired a reputation for catwalk collaborations with designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen and Anne Valerie Hash. More recently her works feature in international contemporary Fashion and Applied Art exhibitions, recognised for her sculptural forms and experimental use of materials (ice, chocolate, glass, rubber).
By combining craftsmanship with new media and exploring recurrent themes such as fragmentation and isolation of the body, Filmer pushes boundaries between art and accessories, creating objects that occupy a middle ground between art and design.
Exhibited Work: Shoulder Ball Lense (2007)
Exhibited at “Out of the Ordinary, The Spectacular Craft” at the V&A Museum in London. As a response to the theme, Naomi created an installation presenting 10 parts of the human anatomy as jewels in their own right. Each body part is set into glass spheres, which effectively function as a lens to focus on extraordinary details of ourselves.
I also found an interview article of Naomi Filmer on the website, in which I think it is important when researching, to document a journey of a practitioner and to see how they have developed and evolved over their collections/pieces. With Naomi, although her work transforms through collections, she still keeps her signature style of pushing her boundaries of the human body and limits of the materials, making her style so unique and easy to recognise.
I created a brainstorm of Naomi Filmer and then break it down into smaller factors in order to see some elements that might be related to my chosen material and process. Mind maps really helped me come up with some ideas for next session on Tuesday. I think having relatively broad background knowledge on the three areas enabled me with the task as I was more able to see more connections between them. The majority of my research has been done using the Internet, as well as book resources that I have photographed during the library session on Friday. I looked through many websites that are relevant to these three elements and I then tried to create something in my head that may have impact and challenge my normal boundaries
From Naomi Filmer’s work and other jewellery designers' work that I researched, I have learnt that designing everyday jewellery takes a lengthy, thorough process and the designer must also think carefully of their choices taken over aesthetics, materials, and various functions of jewellery. The notion of looking at these different characteristics has also made me more aware of certain design choices around me, making me question why that material was used, how they form that certain shapes or why it is that colour, etc.
Through researching at the library last Friday, what I found interesting was the development in the recent jewellery designers' inspirations and their thoughts over the past 10 years. The books I looked in were listed all the contemporary jewellery designers’ work and I found a couple of the designers that has similar designs as Naomi’s work. Here I began to gain more recent information about the recent style of jewellery these days, which are very minimal and look so surreal. It allowed me understand their visual ideas, inspiration posts and more intimate images from their current collection taken backstage.
Matchstick Sculptures by David Mach
Scottish sculptor and installation artist David Mach’s artistic style is based on assemblages of common household objects including newspapers, car tires, matchsticks and coat hangers. Many of his installations are temporary and constructed in public spaces. For example, one of his early sculptures Adding Fuel to the Fire, was assembled from an old truck and several cars surrounded by about 100 tons of magazines. Another sculpture exhibited in London in 1983 consisted of some 6000 car tires arranged as a lifesize replica of a Polaris submarine.
In the early 1980s Mach started to create smaller-scale works assembled using thousands of matchsticks pressed into a clay mold to form the likeness of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Mahatma Gandhi and Ben Kingsley, among others. Mach uses Japanese matchsticks because their heads come in all sorts of different colors. After accidentally setting fire to one of these heads, Mach now often ignites his match pieces as a form of performance art.
Evolving my ideas
My final idea that I have pulled out from my research of my three words:
- Naomi Filmer – Wood – Wear - the idea of discomfort, pain and torture.
The impact of Naomi’s jewellery that I felt comes from the feelings it created upon the wearer rather than from the object itself. The feelings surprisingly are not positive but rather can be defined as those of pain and unpleasantness due to the design of the jewellery itself, which is unexpected and secretive in details. This aspect of Naomi’s work has inspired me greatly to come up with an idea to create a wearable object in form of sculpture that made up of matchsticks and scarps of wood pressed into clay mould. The reason for choosing to work with matchsticks and wood fragments is because they are highly combustible to fire - in relation to David Mach's use of highly flammable materials to create striking large scale installation works. I believe that these highly flammable materials can lead to pain and suffering when the flames become in contact with human body, as well as revealing a sense of suffering and discomfort when people approach to it. When displaying this sculpture in public spaces, once the matchsticks are ignited they will burn the sculpture rapidly with fire in order to create a performance-like effect.
In my opinion, this work will create a tremendous unexpected and special effect on the audience’s feeling while they watch the fire burning as it is the performance which only exists once. Moreover, it is not only because of the colour and form of the object while the flames are viewed but also the simple materials used to create the fire. The sudden response that the audience will get is unpleasant, discomfort feelings and pain sensations that they feel for the situation.
Her conception of jewellery is a way to reveal planes, spaces, hidden places and attitudes on the body. It uses materials that show entropic change and proposes new boundaries for contemporary jewellery, privileging the relationship between flesh, object and the absence of an object. She has worked with ice, chocolate, glass, metals, rubber and synthetics, more recently exploring moving images to display her work. Film loops and lenticulars (a development of holography) invite an audience to focus on precise anatomical areas as jewels in their own right. By combining craftsmanship with new media and exploring recurrent themes such as fragmentation and isolation of the body, Naomi pushes boundaries between art and accessories, creating objects that occupy a middle ground between art and design.
Swarovski Runway Rocks, 2008
Her piece, a fantastic pink crystal bubble cap, really surprised me for its amazing shape, i liked the way she combined crystal stones and the daring use of rubber, especially in that vivid colour. For me she is unlike other designers that just design common jewelleries, but she is a woman of great taste, fantastic energy and a lovely sense of style and aesthetics. That's what makes her jewelleries very unique and eye catching.
David Mach: 'Matcheads'
He carefully orchestrates common items such as matchsticks, coat hangers and postcards to create striking large-scale installation works. The sculptor has also created numerous pieces which entail meticulously organizing objects, with some of the most distinctive being the ‘matcheads’ series, where Mach re-imagines portraits using the coloured upturned heads of the fire-lighters to create 3D artworks.
‘the devil’ and ‘Jesus’ as part of the same compass of work was recently lit ablaze in his recent exhibition precious light at the galway arts festival in Edinburgh. Other pieces include the ‘postcard’ series, where a plethora of collected visuals are methodically arranged to represent the image of a notable icon, such as snoopy or Marilyn Monroe.