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More wood!


Jon Shaw

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Thanks Jon for showing your work.

I like it very much. I also understand why Ford post his comments (and yes Janel there's an opportunity for a new topic but you are a little bit like my mother) (Be sure, I love my mother!)

With Ford in mind and without any intention to speak up for Jon, for me his carving works as a Momento Mori (you know, dust to dust etc.). I find it beautiful because design and subject are both outstanding. I am sure there is a great difference between the real thing and the carving and that shows all the dicisions there are to make while carving. (It's obvious that there is no limitation by skills.)

And Ford please stay as honest as you are, it has benefited me and probably others too.

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong!

 

Leon

 

 

Hi Leon,

 

Your compliments are flattering, but more importantly you understand where I was coming from in my thinking.

 

You may wish to read my response to Ford and join the debate!

 

Jon

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Hi Jon,

 

Firstly, I just wanted to say that I really like your piece, from both a technical and artistic point of view. It does make me want to hold it, think about what was going through your mind while creating it, and consider my own personal thoughts.

 

It is always a sign that an artwork is good when it promotes discussion, and this discussion is excellent.

 

Ford,

 

Please keep up your honesty. Empty compliments mean nothing, and there is nothing better for artistic growth than good constructive criticism.

 

I have posted my own thoughts about the other issues in "the way"

 

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Jon,

 

Firstly, I just wanted to say that I really like your piece, from both a technical and artistic point of view. It does make me want to hold it, think about what was going through your mind while creating it, and consider my own personal thoughts.

 

It is always a sign that an artwork is good when it promotes discussion, and this discussion is excellent.

 

Ford,

 

Please keep up your honesty. Empty compliments mean nothing, and there is nothing better for artistic growth than good constructive criticism.

 

I have posted my own thoughts about the other issues in "the way"

 

Phil

 

Hi Phil,

 

My apologies for not responding sooner to your kind words, but thank you.

 

Hi all who responded to the discussion,

 

Regarding the general discussions on both this and The Way site, I am astonished that my piece provoked such an interesting response. As Mark said, there have been many examples of representational work on this site before, so what happened?

I thought I might just conclude with a couple of further illustrations as to where I was coming from.

 

Pretension is another affliction that I deduce in certain artistic circles, and of which I am again wary. Conceptual artists seem to be particularly affected by it, insofar as I sometimes feel that descriptions of their art come across as little more than egocentric, verbose and pretentious drivel, whose sole purpose is to take us all for a ride.

 

Personally, I can see no reason how someone of sound, enquiring and intelligent mind can possibly conclude that there is a God, and consequently consider any notion of a life in the hereafter to be a seriously flawed concept, constructed solely to maintain control over populations. Therefore to me, my life is, as they say, the real thing and not the dress rehearsal. When I stumble upon an object such as the crab claw, I am very much reminded of my own mortality (not that I dwell on it too much. I'm still a spring chicken of 55!) and cannot help but wonder how the crab came to meet its demise.

 

Leon was therefore correct in that I could easliy have entitled it Momento Mori, but chose not to, partly because I like to allow people to think for themselves and partly out of a fear of being thought pretentious. Would it have made any difference to the debate I wonder?

 

If at the end of this I have suceeded in some small way in making people think about the piece in a different way, then I feel I can refer to myself as an artist after all.

 

Cheers,

 

Jon

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Jon,

You hit upon the thought that I was developing, as this thread unfolded. I feel if an artist or an interpreter of art has a true meaning of the symbology contained therein , then fear of pretentiousness need not be an issue. I do find that many of us artists, myself included, often prefer to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions, but as we know by studying the art of the past, in many cultural contexts, images often meant something entirely different than what was shown. For example, a flock of blackbirds may portray death or disease. Sometimes the artist could be punished if the meaning was too clear, so symbology became very important in getting the message across. When I see your fine crab claw carving, not only do I see an excellent technical study, but I see the powerful gripping mechanism of of a living being, detached from it's host. No longer any reason to be there, yet still evident for the world to see, a function, a reason for being, a ghost of what it was.

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Guest ford hallam
When I see your fine crab claw carving, not only do I see an excellent technical study, but I see the powerful gripping mechanism of of a living being, detached from it's host. No longer any reason to be there, yet still evident for the world to see, a function, a reason for being, a ghost of what it was.

 

if that is the case Mike, why not just put a real crabs claw in front of the audience?

 

hmmmm ;)

 

just keeping the pot stirred....... :)

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Ford,

 

I truly appreciate the questions you ask of Jon. It is direct and not vague and I hope that as I post more of my work that you will be willing to ask similar probing questions.

 

I recall when I was working in Alaska at the Visual Arts Center over 30 years ago, a Tlingit mask carver friend looked at my work and after some discussion he asked if I was an "object maker". We talked about it politely because I was uncomfortable with the title since I thought I might be an artist..... His comments and our discussion got me thinking about the meaning of my work and I began to realize the gift that he had shared with me. I regret not spending more time with this man.

 

I am not certain if I am making my self clear and I want to let you know that I greatly appreciate the time you take to share with us and the questions you ask us to make us stop and think.... and think again.....

 

Respctfully,

Fred

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Hi Doug,

 

I think Rene Magritte never intended a kind of mimetic use of painting. He "double twisted" the meanings of depiction in general.

 

 

 

This is a difference to a Trompe-l’oeil painting.

 

Grappes -trompe l'oeil by Louis Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

 

In my opinion Jon`s crab is a kind of Trompe-l’oeil and of breathtaking virtuosity - how would a rambler wonder about this piece if it is laid on the beach and he found it. ;)

 

Karl

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Guest ford hallam

Good morning Fred,

 

Thank you so much for your comments, I was genuinely touched. :) Despite appearances, I don't always find it easy to actually come out directly and write what I think or feel. The concern over possible backlash or misunderstanding ( both genuine and deliberate misrepresentation ) is ever present. ;) I do try to be fair and honest though. The very generous support and understanding so many of you have shown is an oft needed reassurance. Thanks again.

 

Namaste, ford

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Guest ford hallam
Personally, I can see no reason how someone of sound, enquiring and intelligent mind can possibly conclude that there is a God, and consequently consider any notion of a life in the hereafter to be a seriously flawed concept, constructed solely to maintain control over populations. Therefore to me, my life is, as they say, the real thing and not the dress rehearsal.

 

and Good morning to you, Jon

 

I think in this regard we are singing from the same hymn sheet ( sorry, could'nt resist ;) ). I too feel that as far as we can discern we get just one chance at this life. Each exchange we have may be our last so I try to make mine meaningful, and in writing responses I become ever more reflective. This kind of raw honesty is, naturally enough, a little uncomfortable for some people but perhaps we would all be just a little more aware, and alive!, if we did in fact occasionally consider our exchanges as more precious opportunities for sincere dialogue.

 

as I'm fond of saying; "life is too short to drink bad wine...." :)

 

cheers, Ford

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