Thursday, August 25, 2016

Art versus craft

I walk the fine line. Am I an artist? Or a craftsperson?

I read this article it cleaned it right up for me:

Art versus craft, the final word
by Suzette Wearne

Dear Stamm,
I graduated in 2014 and I now work primarily in the field of ceramics. At the opening of my first group show, I was asked whether what I make is craft or art. I’m not sure I know what the difference is. Can you help?


Dear Bethany,
Academics and curators agree that in this post-disciplinary age, with unprecedented lateral movement across all fields of creativity, the difference between art and craft is less clear than ever. They are, of course, wrong. The categories are distinct and immutable and determining which one your practice falls under is easy – just apply any of the following five tests.

1. Take your wedding ring off, tie it to a piece of string, and hang it over one of your works. If it swings in a circle, it is craft. If it swings back and forth, it’s art.

2. Did you draw on technical knowledge and a repertoire of skills to complete a work with a meticulous degree of aesthetic realisation? If you answered yes, you’re making craft. Or, does it resemble something on the reject pile at a Sophia Mundi humanities fundraiser? If so, it’s art.

3. To which of the following statements do you most relate?
a) I think people understand me most of the time.
b) I think people understand me some of the time.
c) Monkey monkey Paddledust is hiding in my scarves.

a or b = craftsperson
c = artist

4. In a reboot of the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, what would Viggo Mortensen do with one of your works if he found it in a shelter recently abandoned by cannibals?

a) Drink tea or cordial from it.
b) Burn it for fuel. There is literally no other purpose it would serve in an apocalypse.

a = craftsperson
b = artist

5. How do you feel after a session in your studio?

a) Happy.
b) As though I have unwittingly opened a wormhole to a universe of existential questioning. That flock of screaming lambs I wanted so much to leave behind stalk me at every turn. While I am heavy with the realisation that this path is a solitary one, I know it is the only one of any worth.

a = craftsperson
b = artist

There you go, Bethany, the difference between art and craft. Good luck with your career, whichever one it is.

Best wishes,

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