Setting the Scene – the Symposium

Setting the Scene - the Symposium

The symposium took place on 29 November, with speakers Marjan Unger, Helen Carnac, Paul Scott and Patrick Letschka. It was thought-provoking, intriguing, informative and inspiring.

Marjan Unger contended that we cannot base the future of craft creative practice and the craft market on old models. New alliances must be formed, and new arenas fully explored. Her punchy and provocative message was delivered with warmth and a dry humour.

Helen Carnac spoke about her engagement with landscape. We were offered a glimpse of what she is reading, looking at, processing and passing, collecting and contemplating.

Paul Scott spoke of the nature of cultural exchange through the trading and imitation of ceramic imagery – through history and today. The same landscape motifs are claimed by several cultures: history is blurred; territory is ambiguous; the politics of making are subverted

Patrick Letschka coaxed the delegates into exploring drawing as a means of mapping landscapes which are emotional and sensorial as well as physically perceived. Practical exercises included drawing internal landscapes, relying on senses other than the visual.

Simone ten Hompel and Deborah Werbner’s dialogue examined what personal experience and conditioning leads us to identify as landscape. My notion of landscape may not be the same as yours, and their discussion rounded the diverse topics of the day with a re-examination of what ‘setting’ a scene may mean in terms of engagement with making and with objects.

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