Monday, October 31, 2016

Why do I sculpt in paper?

A  4 tonne sculpture in the foyer of the High Court of Australia in Canberra, Australia
While I am know for my ceramic paper clay sculptures in the ceramic and arts community, I also work in creating up to 3 tonne compressed paper sculptures.
The dry paper sculpturing came out of my frustration with drawing units at university.

As a sculptor/potter I found very frustrating (as many of my clay peers did) with being limited to a flat, unresponsive 2D plane. 
 Plus a health dose of antidisestablishmentarianism, which grew out of my experiences with an authoritarian father (a product of his time, and probably the only way for him to survive with 5 sons), being rather headstrong myself, and having just finished worked for a political lobby group. 
 Plus, as a very poor mature age arts student (we couldn’t afford a car for a decade), the piles of paper donated to me by fellow students to make into paper clay, offered a free material to sculpt, if only I could find a way to make it solid. 
 I begun to cut it into circles on a pottery banding wheel, then bolting it together into lumps, while at the same time came up with the idea of bolting them together into a paper tower. 
 After that, and over the next decade I slowly developed ways to compress it and carve it afterwards   (Gallery and explanations here).

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Engagement with Arts and wider community

Bored with watching TV and after a couple of beers, I'm in no condition to do some more serious paperwork.

Those who know me, know that I collect names and numbers (I also fastidiously document my idea development and making process, but more on that on another day).

The "arts world" collects data on artists in order to rank, or categories them.  Data collected includes auction house sales and prices, Museum collections and exhibitions, number of exhibitions, media stories, etc etc.

As most of the top local galleries here have closed, now I (and many other artists here) have to collect and archive my own records, so we have no one else documenting our work, exhibition catalogues, reviews, sales data and so on.

Anyway, I digress...

Resent I was shocked to discover that 42,300 people had viewed one of my Youtube videos since I had uploaded it 5 years ago.  I had made the video so I could finally stop demonstrating this technique at every workshop (by then every clay manufacturer in Australia makes all their clays into paper clay). The video was there just in case someone occasionally asked me how to do it.

These videos, plus images on social media and my website saved my bacon once when I permanently lost my laptop en route to giving artist talks and workshops overseas.

So... I originally started this blog entry today with the intention of taking a stocktake of my other online digital profile.

To keep it simple I've collect the results for only the last month (with no paid advertising)

Sessions: 2,900
Users: 2,173
Page views: 14,029
Ave. pages per session 4.84 pages
Avg. session duration: 1:44 minutes
Trend: hasn't changed much over the last 5-6 years, except duration and number of pages viewed increases

3,352 minutes watched,
ave duration 1:55 minutes ,
4 new likes,
7 new shares,
7 new subscribers
Trend: slight improvement

Facebook pages   
206 pageviews,
31 new likes,
2992 reached,
1777 engaged with post
Trend: no idea
72 plays  
489 loads
Trend: no idea
impressions: 24,300 impressions, 16,230 viewers
Repins: 150 saves,  60 clicks through to website
number of time most popular image pinned? 2000+
Trend: no idea

Tweets: 15
 Tweet impressions: 1,706
Profile visits: 121
Mentions:1   Followers: 168
Trend: no idea

This blog        
Pageviews: 466
Biggest following: Ireland!
Trend: no idea

Instagram (all time, not month)  
72 posts,  
197 following   
Trend: no idea

120 images viewed
Trend: no idea

Ok, so that's the numbers, but what do they mean?

I read somewhere that "likes" are like nodding to someone as you walk down the street,.  In this city I  see a hundred faces within a very small period of time.  Would I remember them, or anything about them a day later?  Probably not.

I also find myself nodding sometimes to people I thought I knew (often realising afterwards that I didn't), generally in neighbourhoods I feel more at home, or small towns.

I was asked at a workshop this week by participant if they could take a selfie with me.  They asked if this happened a lot.  Without thinking I said that not very often in Australia.  For a shy person like myself, it's nice to slip along in my own world.  Prior to large events I find myself spending more time alone, almost to "charge my psychic batteries" so I can become a "temporary extrovert".  It's certainly become easier to speak publicly on something I know a lot about.  But it's taken two decades to become comfortable speaking in public, but on my area of expertise.  

The real advantage of the digital revolution is that introverts like myself can present our work without having to physical face people.

The internet was made for introverts.

Even more so, on social media.

update: 9 April 2017



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