Emotions within Art
Over the past few days I have been thinking a lot about the tools that I'm using to attack the wood, and how different tools reflect whether the emotion being translated through the wood is either a manufactured one or a real one. The further I move away from just using my hands and a piece of sandpaper to affect the wood, the more manufactured the emotion is. This manufactured emotion is hard to record using the excel chart that is an on-going part of my research, as I'm being honest with the chart about how I'm feeling on that particular day, rather than putting up a front. So I don't know how I'm going to incorporate that into the chart or start to record it in another way. Or I could disregard the whole premise entirely, but that would take away a layer from the work, rather than adding one.
I have also been looking at the relationship between art and emotion, how research shows that if a work of art has symmetry within it, it is typically approached and favoured positively because symmetry also exists in the human figure, thus humans reacting positively towards it. This made me think about how I could use symmetry within my own work to evoke positive or negative emotions. I plan to look into this further. I also looked into how people's thoughts about a piece of work change depending on what the description says it's about. I have begun to experiment with this in my own work by calling a piece untitled, and having the label close to the floor. This would evoke annoyance in the viewer on two levels, one being that they had been made to bent down to look at the label, the other being that it was only called untitled, rather than anything significant. The label would reinforce the emotion (in this case annoyance) trying to be conveyed through the sculpture.
Today I continued to think about what the different sanding types actually show in terms of what I'm feeling, and whether the different sanding types alone are sufficient enough to translate and evoke a feeling to the viewer. I began to consider how I could enhance the emotion, how I could jab at the wood with an electric sander, rather than slowly and methodically sanding down a particular piece. I also considered how I could make the sculpture first with no emotional thought, and then discuss with my peers and family members what feeling the piece is attempting to evoke, rather than setting out to create a certain feeling. This would add a new layer of participation to the pieces of work that I'm creating.
Throughout the day I also kept experimenting with new ways to sand down the wood. The electric tools speed up the process, but there is a significant change in the minute detail within the work, so I will continue to use both sandpaper and hand tools.
Finally I decided that touching the work is important to understanding the feeling behind it. This became apparent to me when I kept touching the wood whilst I was writing about it. When I come to display this work at the end of the unit, I won't put a label next to the piece saying that you can touch it, I will simply allow the viewer to touch it without explicitly telling them that they can. The wood will be dirtier (from people touching the work) the longer the exhibition is on for, symbolising how your past emotions are slowly forgotten as time moves on.