Study of binding in three folds: sculpture as a knot
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This thesis constitutes a piece of practice-led research: its principal research aim is to reflect on, analyse, and explore the conceptual, cultural, and artistic framework within which the offered artworks stand. The introduction is designed to provide an overview of both the central ideas to be discussed and the methodology to be deployed. It will also offer a snapshot of the structure of the text as a whole. As I will indicate, both method and content can be approached via a common guiding form: that of the fixed bind or knot. I will begin by introducing those concepts as they apply both to my own works and to those with which I have brought them into relation. My central concern is with the way in which the imagination forms connections and associations, the way objects or visions are gathered together in the imagination, and the way in which such ties might form knots, might amass or fix within them. I use the terms ‘binds’ and ‘bonds’ to refer to all such relations: to investigate these binds is to investigate the architecture of the imagination. My aim is to explore the way in which the structure of such binds might be present or affirmed in a physical object. In this context, the sculptures I have submitted can thus be understood as points of consolidation, points around which imagination amasses, and points at which binds accrue and abide: they are forms wrought and fixed, but not motionless, in the imagination. In this sense, from a theoretical perspective, to reflect on the sculptures is to reflect on what it means for objects or visions to bind and fixate in the imagination and for sculptors to realise them. For example, the first sculpture arises from attempting to make a seamless and ongoing circle of rope from lengths of hair. Here a material that stops once unbound from the head is repeatedly knotted. The longer binds thereby arise through a process of perpetual repetition in seeking to form a perfect bind; I juxtapose this vision of repetition with, for example, Kierkegaard’s work on that concept in order to analyse the nature of such a joint and impulse. As I have introduced the term, ‘binds’ therefore carries a double weight; it refers both to the structure of the imagination and to the sculptural connections that affirm it. The primary aim of this thesis is to investigate the interplay between these two aspects in both my own work and in that of a number of authors and artists.