The Meaning of The Body; Aesthetics of Human Understanding, by Mark Johnson,

The majority of what the book has to say has the overarching theme on the idea that what we commonly call the mind and what we call the body are not two separate things, instead Johnson believes they are in fact both just parts of the one single process.  The first section of the book – ‘Bodily Meaning and Felt Sense’ and here the author looks at engagement between the body and the world. ‘Life and movement are inextricably connected.’ (Johnson, 2007, p19) – the opening statement of chapter one, although this seems very obvious when stated in this way , it is something that is often forgotten, and movement is not just about making a journey from one space to another or general bodily functions, ‘…through our movements we get “in touch” with or world, taking its human measure.’ (Johnson, 2007, p19) Movement is therefore something which should not be overlooked as if meaningless, but it has so much more which it can tell about the nature of humans and the world around.

  • The book discusses the importance of a sensory experience and how this corresponds with the movement we incorporate in our daily lives
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Exhibition Site Venue

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I found this quite challenging as this was my first ‘real’ exhibition , I didn’t realise how stressful it would be deciding where to mount my work that would best suit it and with a very limited amount of space actually available. I had to be creative with the space available – I ended up mounting my work on the wall at about knee level, at first I wasn’t sure about this but when I thought bout it, it almost made more sense to have them there. The work was supposed to represent running your hand along a hedge so this is the natural height that your hand would fall at the hedge.

Juhani Pallasmaa – The Eyes of the Skin

Pallasmaa (a well known architect ), wrote this book which  primarily tries to highlight the importance of the entire sensory experience within architecture, and not just the singular focus on the visual impact which a building can have on a person. He had become aware and subsequently worried by the dominance of vision as the primary sense – which is the same argument I seek to address in my practice. This bias towards vision above the other senses is often referred to as Ocularcentrism.  Pallasmaa  goes further to explain what might be the consequences of this, as creating a sense of detachment and alienation – were we cannot make connections between the body and the building, the two are so separate that the body cannot make sense of itself within the space.

–  In order to make sense of ourselves and the things around us we must have the ability to use all our senses to interpret whats happening – a multi sensory experience.

Drawings

In these examples there is a strong connection between the activity of drawing and the memory of the subject. It is a helpful tool for me to make the connection with the place without any actual representation of myself being in that place. I think that this makes it more difficult for me to remember the experience and more difficult for anyone viewing the drawings to understand how I may have felt when doing the drawings.

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Wolfgang Tillmans

weed

Tillmans work often incorporates everyday mundane things, he see’s the beauty in the small things and turns what could be said to be an ugly weed into something with an almost luminous quality. Tillmans said in an interview “what is at work in every picture of mine is a mixture of actively doing something, encouraging a picture, while also letting it happen – letting chance play a role” –  In my recent images documenting journeys I feel I have allowed a similar situation to occur.

 

melon

Tillmans is often criticised for photographing incredibly uninteresting things like this watermelon and plate, but why does the every day have to be so uninteresting. I like Tillmans work because of the familiarity of it, its easy to imagine the smell and taste of that watermelon the way it was cut up and the traces it would have left all around the kitchen.

Walking Home – Sensory Experience and Memory

When I was back at home in Northern Ireland for Easter I made the same twice a day through fields and along hedgerows, I really enjoyed the evening walk home. The sun has set but it’s not quite dark yet and everything is flooded in a faded blue as the last of the light draws away. When the visual aspect of the moment was lessened I became more aware of my other senses.

I decided to document this journey taking a few photos each night of the experience i had of the hedgerows.

Most Influential Key Concepts

 

From this series of lectures I was reminded that work does not always have to be displayed in the stereotypical white wall gallery space. The lecture I was most interested in was the one about Portable Galleries, in particular the work of Destil and Duchamp .

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BoxValise

I like the organisation in these works, generally I am a really messy person so things with so much order as these really intrigues me . I’m not sure if it is the portable nature of these that truly attracts me or if it is this aspect of organisation , taking somewhat random things and creating relationships between them which I love.

I think this is what has influenced me to think more about the relationships between things – and what has made me begin to bring different objects together from my garden and thus making new relationships between them .