Cath Davies Keynote Lecture – Cultural Approaches to Materials and Visual Culture 13th NovemberPosted: November 14, 2014
I found yesterday’s lecture extremely interesting, and informative. I liked the ideas Cath explored and put forward, of how you can make meanings from what you’ve created, adopting a cultural approach and how objects and visual culture have cultural connotations.
Cath explored the ideas of how objects evolve and are renewed overtime, how connotations change and how these connotation can then be unpicked and understood through research; the example Cath used was the Dr Marten’s Original 1460 Boot, which has changed from being quite a marginalised object to being fully embraced in mainstream fashion. She talked about cultural biography, how objects are culturally constructed, and that whatever you’re working with should be explored, looking at the recognised ages within the materials life, to better understand how the identity of the object or material can then be changed.
Another way to understand the identity or cultural connotations of an object are to look into the cultural markers of the object; what its original function was, the purpose the object was made for, the role it has played etc. and how these cultural references are embedded within the object, and how new meanings can emerge because the object has been brought together into a new and distinctive style. She explored the ideas that objects are symbolic, social artefacts that are embedded with narratives, how you should look at how an object speaks and how meanings change overtime.
Each of the ideas that she explored in this lecture was extremely helpful and an important part of understanding the materials that you use within your work and how even your materials have meanings that can be changed and explored and manipulated by what you pair them with.