University of Tasmania
whole_HughesMarieSierra1986_thesis.pdf (35.23 MB)

M.F.A. documentation

Download (35.23 MB)
posted on 2023-05-26, 18:31 authored by Hughes, Marie Sierra
The main source of energy for my concepts Is decay, especially the paradoxical deterioration of \permanent\" markers of past civilizations. The monuments and public buildings of lost cultures as well as tombstones sarcophagi and other markers of \"permanence\" ail take on an ironic context when seen in a state of decomposition. They become poignant reminders of our own impermanence resonating through our time as they mark their own. The sculptural use of clay is my avenue for the artistic exploration of \"permanent\" architecture and in an unfired state it speaks even more clearly of entropy. I intend to continue working in unfired clay as a main medium mixing in other mediums where necessary such as found objects. Conceptual and installation work are by no means excluded and may evolve as short-term goals but the main body of work will be gallery oriented pieces. Entropy was initially brought to my attention through working in unfired clay creating pieces left outside to deteriorate. The Second Law of Thermodynamics defines entropy as a \"measure of disorder\" the concept that any order will devolve towards a state of disorder. An \"increase of entropy often leads to a state of equilibrium\" the balance at the end of a cycle where formation / deterioration meet. Robert Smithson (1938-1973) was an American \"Earth Art\" sculptor who was aware of this delicate balance and the interconnection of all things. Of entropy he stated \"'s a condition that's irreversible it's a condition that's moving towards a gradual equilibrium and is suggested in many ways.Ancient and modern architectural and object \"ruins\" are capable of powerful statements about the entropy to which we are subject. As the thirteenth century philosopher Ibn Khaldun noted: The world of the elements and all it contains comes into being and decays. Minerals plants all the animals including man and the other created things come into being and decay as one can see with one's own eyes. The same applies to the conditions that affect created things and especially the conditions that affect man. Sciences grow up and then are wiped out. The same applies to crafts and similar things. Everything fades breaks down only to be reformed the same elements in a new structure. In studying ancient cultures one follows their rise and fall and soon our own instability becomes poignant. Knowing we are subject to this great grinding stone we are frantic to leave some trace of our existence in works of art buildings memorials or other ephemera. Unfired stabilized clay has a long history in building and research especially of its sculptural use from ancient to modern time is proposed for a first year paper. Unfired clay has recently been recognized as a valid sculptural medium as seen in the works of George Geyer Tom McMillin Katherine Ross Howard Shapiro and John Goodheart. Theoretical aspects of the recent recognition of this medium could be dealt with in a second year paper. Research in these areas would not only lend me technical insights into methods of stabilization of an unfired state but also heighten my awareness of its history in specific cultures and its artistic capabilities as a material."




Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 1985 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Art copy includes slides. Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1986. Inlcudes bibliographical references

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager