11 – Concept development

Concept Development



Point – example – explain

Broad statement of desired outcomes/the general intentions of the visual outcomes

Emphasize what is to be accomplished/what you are intending to explore as your theme/subject.

What am I making?

How will it look?

What am I trying to communicate?

relationship between space, objects and function.

 Fragility of relationships.

 the fragility of this relationship in a particular domestic environment

 A project which sets objects in dialogue with each other and with the spaces around them

A CONVERSATION between furniture and ceramics

Poetic connections between everyday objects

Found object/made object

Microcosm of the wider world

Incapacitate the function of the furniture.

Confronting strangeness.

Forms not associated with an obvious use (ceramics)

fluid meaning

Produce a response through its form and material

Encourages a certain type of interaction/ shifted to emotional response (viewer)

evokes an emotional & aesthetic response in the viewer

Cause and effect


The effect of one thing on another

The aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting

associations, nostalgia and elusive meaning

Representation of pain, distress, dysfunction. *

How does this relate to previous work undertaken?

Fetishism – an object which takes the place of normal human relations



Coping mechanisms – Sophie Calle

Objects I own are often a starting point – visual language

Accessible to others

Mushrooms, polka dots, dolls, objects from childhood, ceramics, retro, vintage

Nauman’s square depression – spatial construction of a psychological state

Encourages a certain type of interaction/ shifted to emotional response (viewer )

Walk in object

Objectives – subsidiary aims

Steps you are going to take to answer your questions on a specific list of tasks needed to accomplish the goals of the project.

Emphasize how aims are to be accomplished

Must be highly focused and feasible

Finer details

The visual representation of the space between visions and thoughts – Richard Billingham tested by poverty, addiction and being sold short of the better things in life

Recreate feelings of nostalgia, safety, innocence, warmth and love experienced in childhood or as an escape from uglier aspects of life and human beings.

Social isolation


Scaled down the original idea

Focus on the relationship between the ceramic and furniture

Furniture compromised by made object

Disguise furniture’s use

Domestic objects isolate in gallery setting/ context

Space – group? Alone? Consider

 Stand alone or part of a larger structure

Exploring the medium

Forms not associated with an obvious use

Retro feel, soft geometric forms, pastel glaze.


Inspired by textiles

Repetition of motifs

Key visual motif

Variants on a single idea


Draped ceramics

Edges/fragility, imperfection

Aged patina


What ideas are driving the project?

Concept (wider framework of the work)

Historical/Political/Social/ Psychological etc.

What is the context you are working in?

Who are the most relevant thinkers/artists etc to your project?

Theory (wider framework of the work)

What are the bigger ideas supporting your project?

The effect of environments on the individual

Gaston Bachelard poetics of space – 1. Home x 2



The system of objects baudrillard – symbolic meaning/ function

Once precious fragments of other peoples lives

The aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting

Dysfunction, space, behaviour – effect on the individual


*Environmental Psychology

Behaviour settings, places that encourage specific patterns of behaviour

The direct relationship the environment has with the inhabitant and how it      affects behaviour ( perception of space – Osgood, suci and tannebaum )

*Attachment theories

Early attachments were the result of receiving care and comfort from a caregiver

Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life.

Unhealthy attachments

Perception of space

Identity (mirror)

Time, narrative, self-portrait


What is the medium?

Why is this medium appropriate to the concept/aims of the project?

How will you develop this media?

Old furniture

Visual language

Clay – earthenware, semi porcelain, porcelain

Versatility, light, fragile, heavy, reference to china collectables and functional ceramics domestic setting

Microcosm of the wider world


Technical Issues

Identify what you may require in order to complete your project?

Do you foresee any problems with what you are proposing?


Size of kiln

Limited knowledge and experience – learning/ problem solving as I go


Draped ceramics


How do you intend to carry out the project in the time allowed?

Have you created a timetable for the completion of work?

What are the likely costs of the work and are they feasible or prohibitive?

Many simple or less but complicated.

Less is more


Proposal for FRA600

I intend to present a visual representation of the aesthetic and psychological dimensions of multiple objects in conversation with each other and as metaphors for coping mechanisms and the fragility of relationships.

This will take the form of a found and made objects in close proximity with each other. I intend the effect of these objects on one another to suggest dysfunction and evoke an emotional response in the viewer through their own associations with the objects.

The familiarity of the found objects, pieces of old furniture, was chosen to stimulate a narrative of home, time and memories. In relation, the made objects, hand built ceramics with fluid meaning, are intended to incapacitate the function of the furniture, disrupt that narrative and introduce ideas of fragility and dysfunction.

The concept for this proposal was inspired by my own experiences and use of objects as part of my visual language. It came also from research into Environmental Psychology and my experiences of Hoarding Disorder. I am interested in the direct relationship the environment has with the inhabitant, our perception of space and how it affects behaviour. (Osgood, Suci and Tannebaum)

The previous objective was to create a walk in piece requiring physical interaction. In Square Depression, Bruce Nauman encourages a limited type of movement with his spatial construction of a psychological state. In initial experimentation however my focus shifted towards objects, our attachments to them and evoking an emotional response from the viewer. Experimentation with clay and furniture produced an interesting aesthetic which I want to pursue further.

In The System of Objects, Jean Baudrillard agreed with Roland Barthes that objects “say something” about their users.
Unhealthy attachments to objects are often a result of unstable attachments to caregivers in childhood. Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. This can lead to fetishism of objects in place of normal human relations. Human fragility and dysfunction occur when the value making processes as identified by Baudrillard become confused and objects become a coping mechanism. In The Birthday Ceremony, Sophie Calle exhibits strange ideas about the functional and symbolic value of objects, displaying gifts as a reminder of the affection felt towards her.

I have resolved to create ceramics as a direct response to particular items of furniture. I will continue to explore the aesthetic of draped fabrics, aged patina, imperfection, texture, fragility and soft geometric forms. I propose a repetition of key visual motifs or variants of a single idea to communicate a coherent idea and not overwhelm the viewer.
I will develop my ceramic marbles idea using porcelain and test how they can interact with the furniture. Further work is needed to consider if casts of dolls faces communicate my aims. Once those issues have been resolved I will decide if items of furniture will stand alone in a gallery setting or become part of a larger structure.

Old furniture and ceramics are appropriate as an accessible reference to domestic environments. Second hand furniture can be collected cheaply or free. Clay is inexpensive which will allow for my limited experience and knowledge of ceramics.

Clay is a versatile medium, used historically and to the present day for functioning and decorative objects. It can be manipulated to suggest weight and solidity, or conversely something flimsy and fragile. Stoneware, earthenware, semi porcelain and porcelain have different properties which I shall explore to create forms not associated with an obvious use but focussing on how they disrupt the intended function of the furniture.

The lengthy process, the size of the kiln and the availability of technical support may limit me. My current objective is already a scaled down version of a previous idea; I am prepared to refine this further to achieve a quality aesthetic that communicates effectively. I can either simplify my designs but make a greater quantity or create more complicated forms in fewer numbers. I am open to the idea of less being more.









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