I've recently started on a small floor installation of wood planks made from clay. I'm thinking of laying them out by 3s on the floor and hopefully fill a 3 ft x 3ft area. By leaving them bisque fired and then throwing them into a fire pit, I'm hoping to do 2 things. I'm hopefully letting the clay material speak for itself and allow its breakable vulnerability to filter through the smokey soot that then refers to the vulnerability of the mimicked wood material.
A week ago, I saw Mona Hatoum on a lecture about a large span of her work. I had already been thinking about intention vs. intuition in the last couple of weeks as a result of a very long critique and one thing that Ms. Hatoum said during her talk really keeps bothering me. When asked about the titles of her work, she replied by saying that in most cases she completes the work and then finalizes the intended meaning of the piece.
I feel like I've been struggling with this notion for a while now. How much can an artist rely on intuition before the piece begins to fall apart? And how much planning and deliberate intentions should an artist have before the piece begins to feel too didactic?
This particular piece with the floorboards has had a pretty shifty start. It began as a chair constructed from the wood clay planks and then I became ambitious and so it multiplied into 3 chairs. The decision to compose the planks into floorboards instead only came to when I began to lay the planks down to let them dry and I only honestly only decided to change the idea into floorboards because I realized that there is a poster in the studio of a piece that looks very similar to what I eventually wanted to do.
So what began as my intention changed only because of fear of plagiarizing someones work. And although I feel that I have made some intentional decisions, ie. using a rolling pin rather than the slabroller and not trying to hide the fact that there are very similar patterns on some of the planks, etc... I feel like this piece has been guided more by chance.
I now have a definitive plan for this piece and so I guess that there is a very strong intention to what I want to eventually do; which is to allow the piece to show vulnerability. But I really have no idea where that particular push is coming from. How did decide "vulnerability" as my intention?
And so I am left with this conundrum. Is this intention a construction of my intuition?