Thursday, February 09, 2006

Art and Craft

A news item this evening started me thinking about the relationship between art and craft and just where the boundaries lie; when does something, other than what is accepted as art, that is handmade become a piece of art; could a painting, or a sculpture, both of which are after all handmade, not be classified as a piece of craft? It is very difficult to distinguish the differences between art and craft, and even more so when some 'works of art' have no apparent aesthetic merit at all, and some 'craft works' are oozing aesthetic merit in bucket fulls. The whole aesthetics argument could keep us entertained for decades and still not give us a clear understanding or solution to what aesthetic merit is, or is not; suffice to say that it is very subjective and individual.

Personally I think that if something made of glass, for example the works of Renee Lalique, ceramic, for example the work of Lotte Glob, or any other material make one stop and examine it with interest and stirs some sort of desire for that object then it should be classified as a 'work of art'. I know that this is a very simplistic argument and that the whole thing is much more complex than this simplicity, but surely our reactions to thing of beauty are quite simplistic because we know what we like, we have our own preconceptions of beauty. I have visited this topic before albeit from a different viewpoint, and have come back to it because I am fascinated by the whole idea of what is art and what is craft, and whether or not there is an overlap between the two; I happen to think that there is, but where the boundaries are is still unclear to me, so there is a distinct likelihood that I will be returning to these thoughts in the future.

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