Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Books Books Books

As with all modules of work in this BA(Hons) Embroidered Textiles programme, there is lots of reading.
I do like having to read because there is no guilt in settling down with a book and looking up to see most of the day has passed, which does tend to happen to me when I get hooked on a good one.
There have been several books this semester that have been most influential in my work.
I devoured Nalini Nadkarni's book on trees.
Even though she is a scientist and professor with a doctorate in tropical canopies, this book is very personal about her own connection with trees and her family life, which makes it easy to relate to.
It is a great example of someone with the ability to link art, science and life.

This book has lots of provocative ideas about what we need to do to survive and thrive on the planet for the next millenia.
It is a book of essays written by experts. There are lots of statistics to back up their arguments and I found it very readable.
However, there is a big problem with the case they present.
Unlike Nalini's approach where she covered all the bases in a loving dissertation on trees, this book thinks it did the same by looking at the role of governments, education, religion, media etc in bringing about a global shift from being a consumer society to sustainable one BUT it completely and totally left out the role of the artist and art as an agent of change.
Art history shows time and time again how art has led the way with what is new in ways of thinking and viewing and doing.
I checked the index, there is no mention of 'art', 'artist,' 'beauty' ... so its not a balanced view.
Makes me wonder what else they left out.

These 2 books have been great references to dip into while I am developing my ideas.
For example, when I am contemplating using a symbol in my work I check it out in one of these books to find out the history and multiple meanings it might have. I then follow these leads with web searches.

Phew, I have been wordy this post.
It is probably because all I have been doing this past week is pecking at my key board putting together 2 art proposals - Assignment C.
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