But why a cube?
A blank canvas my studio gives me, a fresh start. So how can I encapsulate it, give it to others, this feeling that makes every nerve in my body flutter and contract?
Why else do I feel it, what am I looking at when I feel it – aRT of course, not all, some just give me instant joy, exactly like opening the door to my studio.
Some spaces I have never visited before will also give it to me instantly; a sense of freedom and joy, and possibility.
I am my own entity, only my eyes have seen what I have seen, only my memories hold dear the things that those eyes have seen, so therefore only I can have these thoughts; my ideas may cross over into others thoughts but still my combination is my own. My studio is set out to fuel those memories, not overrun it with too much information, or restrict it with too little fodder.
So the art that I hold dear is my own, my set of experiences and sights that bring me closer to being completely selective and being able to make a bold statement.
I LOVE THE bauhaus AND THE DESIGNERS THAT WERE INVOLVED IN IT.
I respect its teachings and priorities. Therefore it gives me that starting point when I am lost.
It may be indulgent and predictable, but it is a start. I am a failed architect, who now has the brain to handle the calculations; but didn’t apply myself at the right time in school. So now I indulge.
It took me a while to comprehend that most other people don’t see in 3D first. Most see in 2D and then make their brain adapt the scenario. I can look at a space and tell you if something will fit into it, how best to utilise it, whether it has wasted space. I am hyper logical, and fail to understand why others can’t see the obvious.
So I take my beginning as a student of the Bauhaus, and follow the teachings they gave, to give myself the best start. And of course the Bauhaus is most frequently associated with the square, triangle and circle. But I do not see them in 2D I see them in 3D, instantly. So the circle is a ball, the triangle a pyramid, and the square is a cube.
All spaces are like cubes. They have 6 sides in the main. They have corners, in the main. So if a shed is a space, a railway carriage is a space, a gallery is a space, then my cubes will represent that space.
Initially, they multiply in a variety of materials, harking back to the Bauhaus basic course where students were exposed to materials and pushed them out of the normal approach. But the logic remains constant. What is the sweet spot of the materials as a group; where one that is hard and rigid can still be manipulated, but one that is fragile and fluid has core strength? They coherently work as a group, but still don’t express the feeling of space. Does one on it’s own do so? Does a group of three do so? But which three? And where are they placed?
The children enter the room. The room which has been calculated, and tested to work most sensibly. To appear welcoming, yet “art studio” esk. They look around and see cubes in art, the same shape used in so many ways, to show so many ideas. But it is familiar; it is recognisable. So they will understand? Not necessary, they just need to feel. Feel like anything is possible, within their capabilities, even if never tested before, as the cube is solid and reassuring. We recognise its form from being exposed to it over and over and over. But do we appreciate it?
So they begin, they follow the instructions, and I watch with wonder. And I feel that same rush of blood tightening my arms and shoulders and chest, just as I feel when I step through the door of the studio. I am sharing my memories, my opinion, and my values, in a simple 10x10x10 form. The materials are varied; the assembly is SOOOO easy, or too fiddly. But the shape wins out. The cube is formed, the task is accomplished, and I have felt that feeling.
So I associate the cube with those feelings.
The cube to me means
Reflects its inner core
Pure – space in its purest form
A container, a vessel with infinite possibilities for hopes, dreams and aspirations.
I speak to it and it speaks to me.
So the children make the cubes, and work in the space. But what if the space were a cube? Would it give that connection that I feel to my studio, that I feel whilst working in my studio, or looking out thinking my thoughts, fears, struggles? Maybe. But actually I want them to feel what I feel about a cube, and to have the connection to the form itself. So I provide them with the space, a space that is ergonomically correct. That wraps the person in its reassurance, its familiarity, its sanctuary. And they get to appreciate the cube in its simplicity by making a cube of their own.
‘there is a magical power in every completed, self-contained creation’
The cube ‘studio’ gives them that instant feeling I feel when I walk into my studio. A physical reaction to the space, a six sided, hard cornered, over simplified space. I cannot bring you all to my studio, or to those places that hit me instantly, but I will create for you an inner sanctum. Step in, escape, find what it is you are looking for.
‘And I will thank you for making me a little more sure, a little more wise and, courageous’.
The possibilities are mine, the possibilities are ours.
So we will step forward each taking our own path, each seeing what only we will see, and each remembering what we wish to that makes us fuller.
But now we have had the reassurance, we must break free to evolve. Lay things out flat so we can see what is in front of us. Feel the solidity under our feet and know where we have trodden, but take the step out of the box. Relinquish the structure and absorb the space around. Bleed our essence out like ink being dropped into water. Feel the fluidity. Feel the wave of reassurance riding us out of the familiar to find new feelings and memories, to make us a new vessel for absorption. And from there we will know where to go. We have had the sanctuary, now comes the discovery.
Open your eyes.
Carry the feelings with you, just under the surface and easily available at the slightest little scratch to see what makes them push back up to the surface. Don’t loose them. Don’t get them wrapped up in monotony, predictability or staleness. For you will miss out. Take what the cube showed you, but carry it lightly. It must not now dampen or stamp out your feelings, for then it is just restrictive.
The cube is now so restrictive. The cube now presents too many barriers, too much pressure in on us.
Its once warm, gentle, tangible strength is now preventing the freedom a space should give you to learn, to see, to discover.
So we will break it down, return it to its starting point, in order for us to see the view refreshed.
The walls will no longer surround us, the corners will no longer be sharp and defensive for us, the window will no longer frame the view, the door shall not signify a start and an end. The world will come in, and we will move unrestricted out into it, to refresh our thoughts, our memories, and start again
But with so much more behind us.