16 June 2010

In Conversation with Geoff Mann

As part of the new national initiative Craft Festival Scotland and the research exposition 'Knowledge Through Making' (currently on show in the Visual Research Centre at Dundee Contemporary Arts), the Scottish artist Geoff Mann was in Dundee yesterday. 

Geoff explained that he is fascinated with transposing the ephemeral nature of time and motion, and that his studio practice seeks to challenge the existing divides between art, craft and design. Our conversation began with a bit of background using 'Dogfight and 'Attracted to Light' as an introduction to his ideas. He explained that observations of contemporary life and questions concerned with the intangible idea of 'touching motion' lead his practice; he is a narrative led artist rather than process led and, while he is greatly inspired by the process of making he doesn't like to get physically/technically involved in it these days; he sketches via animations, film and 'thought sketches' and, there are no traditional 'sketchbooks' in his studio; he is purposefully vague as to what/how he 'labels' himself i.e. artist, designer, director because the current market(s) in which creatives operate these days have fundamentally changed and are ever changing. 

The focus of the event was his new Crossfire Series  (- an Animation and a series of sound objects are exhibited in Knowledge Through Making and commissioned by Past Present and Future Craft Practice). 'In Conversation' discussed the role of Rapid Prototyping (RP), noting that just because an object can be made by RP doesn't mean to say it has to be made; it explored if/how an object can speak to an audience about concept when the artist isn't there to explain; it delved into the importance of 'tactility' and the role of 'touch' when analysing and evaluating new work, and it questioned the role of material in craft where material is and is not an integral aspect of visual integrity.

Brief Bio
Geoff has exhibited in National and International venues including MoMA New York; International Bombay Sapphire Awards, London and Milan, Jerwood Contemporary Makers exhibition, MAD New York and the European Glass Context in Denmark. In 2008, he was awarded the World Craft Council Prize for Glass and in 2009 won the Jerwood Contemporary Makers Prize. Mann has work included in MoMA New York, Design and Architecture collection and MAD New York, Design and Applied permanent collections.   

Knowledge Through Making :: 10 June - 9 July, Dundee

Knowledge Through Making offers a great experience, built around the magic of craft.  The exposition shows and explains beautiful objects, offering insight into how they emerge following the spark of creativity.  The objective is to delight, educate, inspire and demonstrate the power of craft to create new ideas and ways of doing things. In the spotlight is contemporary craft from Georgina Follett, Geoffrey Mann, Drummond Masterton, Lara Scobie, Frances Stevenson, Louise Valentine, Tim Parry-WIlliams, Hazel White and Ewan Steel.

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