Friday, January 22, 2021

The Art of found objects

Artists walk with open and deliberate minds that can see something like a can and create an art out of it. When they are in the bush, they see sculpted figures in trees. To the artist, a composition of found objects could produce a visual rendering and abstracted sculpture. The found objects provide a clue as to what kind of artwork to produce.

One example of similar sculpture was produced by local artist, Steven Diseko, at the Gabs’ Art International artist’s workshop held last year at Thapong visual Arts Centre. The sculpture is an aircraft made out of old drums, iron roof, wooden planks and fencing poles. The old drums made a simple configuration form of the body of an aircraft. Two wooden planks served as wings while the metal iron sheet was made to represent aircraft’s tail. The fencing poles portrayed a stand when the aircraft is landing or taking off. The sculptor imaginatively combined abandoned items of domestic use to formalize the complete aircraft as a wonderful art piece.

In this context, the found materials retained their original significance, but they served as a symbol of an aircraft. The formation of the aircraft made it visually interesting to look at. The way the body is built up with old drums that made it seen as an aircraft. Additionally, the wings and the fencing stand signify the act of taking off.
One would refer to Diseko as a postmodernism artist who is breaking away from the formalities of making an artwork. He takes his time and thinks deeper when it comes to constructing a sculpture.

The sculpture provokes ones feelings because visual form makes one to think of the energy, creative mind and the identity of the artist. It is important for the viewer to create his/her own meaning because artworks accumulate meaning through seeing. It is about appropriating the history and identity of the found objects. The sculpture may also emphasize the relationship of objects themselves. When looking at Diseko’s sculpture, there is a connection of interpretation. The sculpture has the aesthetic idea in relation to play of material. It can be judged as original. The artists’ intention can also be used to judge the artwork. It is clear that the artist was successful in executing the idea. The theory of an artwork supports the meaning. The theory of the sculpture relied on the correlations between physical characteristics and generalized ideology.

Another local artist whose work also depicts the use of found object is Isaac Chibua. He uses objects such as small cans, sand and wood in his paintings. He has developed a large piece of sculpture of an elephant by joining metal cuts-off. With the craftsmanship of joining the small cuts-off the metal and the rough texture from the joining make it look like the hardened skin of an elephant. The rust also gives it a value because it creates natural colours. His work shows interdependency and originality.

The use of found object brings about a series of highly important new practice in the context of Botswana. This idea helps in defining the contemporary art to postmodern Botswana. These developments globalize the contemporary Botswana. They are the main vehicles and venues for the development of the numerous ideologies that would give Botswana art an international stage, even though, sometimes it, conflicts with the thinking of art lovers because this is the art of rejection of formalities. Both artists in this context wanted to satisfy themselves. They were challenging their thoughts that make the line separating reality and representational.

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