Robert Morris has come up in a couple of recent tutorials, since I brought my studio work into college for projects and to prepare for the MA show. In particular, some work I imade curling salvaged copper pipes prompted a friend to show me an image of some work Morris made involving curled copper pipes and felt. I was standing on some recycled felt when I saw it. Yikes.
The felt Morris uses is similar to that used by Beuys. It is beautiful, and Morris seems to choose it for its weight, it’s light absorbtion, and for me it has a movement to it which contrasts well with his lead metal.
I think that when he curled those pipes he was thinking of giving them lightness and movement, just like the fibres of his felt. What was I thinking when I did mine?
Mine were curled by the force of the electricity running through my brain, my thinking and my arms as I adjusted to the new working space in college. They were given movement too, which I could hardly contain, as if they wanted to fly out of the window. Babak’s summation of the psychological elements of my work back I may proved accurate.
For me. The relationship between the materials is what dictates them. I have written before about the tang of the metal against the choking dryness of the felt. The well used, recycled, salvaged qualities talk of their previous incarnations and suggest the next.
There is always that familiar twang of terror when you see that someone ‘already made your work’, but I think it must be a sign of me gaining a bit of my own momentum that I can now recognise that what your work is now is built on all the foundations laid by all work that went before- and some of it which is happening now too. Our take on things are always different, and actually the differences help me to clarify what it is I am interested in.
Where Morris thinks about gravity, light and space, I am thinking about conduits and the human traces in materials. I do really like the physical scale and installation of his work in space, and the demands on the viewer as they move around it. I think that is something I would like to look at in my work at some point too.