Magical Smiths, Infinite Threads, Lonely Places, and Comfy Chairs
Welcome to your September edition of Signified
Art is a great talking point. Why not start a conversation by forwarding this newsletter to someone you know who shares an interest in art?
Announcing the September exhibition at : six : shot : gallery
James Deegan on ‘In a Lonely Place’
Whether dawdling in the Victorian squares or walking down by the coast or along the concrete banks of the River Mersey, I find inspiration flows from these places surrounded by water. All the male members of my family, apart from myself, have strong associations with shipbuilding, the docks, and the sea. As an artist, I am also drawn to these places, where the ghosts of our shipping past still linger in the docks and water…
Do you do art? If you are an artist (or know someone who is) please have a look at our guidelines for the next round of submissions for the Signifier : six : shot : gallery… they can be found in last month’s Signified newsletter archived here.
Recently published in Signifier:
Folk-Ore: Dawn of the Iron Age
Magical Powers were attributed to ancient Blacksmiths and enduring Folklore and Fairy Tales have led to discoveries about the earliest development of iron technologies, uncovering an intricate cultural network that spans the globe. Some stories are older than any of the languages used to tell them and the oldest ‘folk-tale’ of all seems to be that of a blacksmith forging a deal with the devil...
Issey Miyake and the Endless Thread
Though he was a remarkable fashion designer with a consistent aesthetic, Issey Miyake was never predictable and always innovative. He expanded the formal linguistics of three-dimensional design, pushing the concept of clothing into the realm of kinetic sculpture. To him, fashion was a collaborative platform for accessible conceptual art. At the core of his design ideology is the exploration of how two forms interact with each other: how an essentially flat fabric can wrap-around and enclose the volume of the human body. Also, how those two elements may remain distinct yet work in perfect unison…
Are You Sitting Comfortably? A brief history of the Eames Plastic Side Chair
How were chairs made before the advent of plastics? You could choose from sawn, milled, hewn, bent, woven or forged. All that changed when new production methods and materials enabled the creation of furniture that more readily adapted to the human form. But first, let’s start with the chair itself. The models in my possession are all DSR, which stands for Dining-Height Side-Chair Rod-Base. The chromed steel pylon divides the load evenly in all directions and guides the eye downwards in appreciation of its strength and elegance. Neither too heavy nor too light, its low centre of gravity…
How did the early work of artist and designer Herbert Bayer became human-scale environments of positive or negative volumes in the landscape? Perhaps he’s best known for being a Master at the Bauhaus design school, in charge of graphic design, advertising, and typography. In the early-1920s, he’d studied large-scale painting and murals under Wassily Kandinsky at their Weimar campus, where he also devised the Universal typeface by combining aspects of upper and lower case lettering into a single consistent design…
From the archives of Signifier, September 2019:
The Wisdom of William Blake
Some people would look to The Bible, The Koran, or similar religious texts at those times when they need to contemplate serious matters… for me William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) is that book. It’s also a book you can turn to for light reading and entertainment — a five-year-old can appreciate the beauty and majesty of the words as well as the illustrations. It is accessible and contains The Tyger, one of the Nation’s best known and well-loved poems. It has no pretensions, yet works on many levels...
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