#2 In Search of the Vernacular
The vernacular, in architecture as in language, is rooted in the everyday and the prosaic. It is formed of use and habit; it is local and specific. It is concerned with the functional or the domestic rather than the public or monumental. In Search of the Vernacular uses the human scale of contemporary craft to provide a fresh perspective on aspects of vernacular architecture.
By exploring architectural ideas through craft practice, In Search of the Vernacular provides insight into particular characteristics of the vernacular. Applying construction methods to a different set of materials highlights the way process informs the substance of buildings and the city as a system; using the vocabulary of functional structures and objects for other forms reveals their inherent aesthetic properties; working on a smaller scale creates a new viewpoint on structures that shelter and the delineation of space through architecture.
Henry Pim’s small sculptures suggest maps, plans, or graphs, (all ways to sort and present information), and they also show an idea of a structural framework, like a building or an engineered structure. They are made from panels of extruded paper clay, using a technique, which continually mutates, revealing ever more possibilities. An important driver for evolution of the work is this technical unfolding.
This work aims to engage with the ‘making-sense-of-it’ mindset, which is a default mechanism for humans, and is at the heart of intelligence. The way we see the world depends on how we process the information that we are able to understand. The way that we contribute new things in the world depends on how we select the information that we employ. The way we feel about the world depends upon what we think it is and, most importantly, what we expect it might become.
Working predominantly in installation, ceramic sculptures and collaborative projects Gail Mahon often draws focus from body theory; of bodies becoming and in constant state change – unmaking and remaking, unfolding permutations of the physiochemical, organic and anthropomorphisms wrapped up material culture to make speculations of emerging changes to environments and ourselves.
Her practice utilises knowledge of the ceramic process with found object interjections and material experiments to result in kinetic interplays and physical actions to unfold the process of transformation within her installation, photography and experimental studio films as unsettled arrangements, hovering and shifting. Mapping those disparate fragments of new and ancient landscapes – clay and ceramics reform to become carriers of the collapsed social and political spaces caught between the natural environment, post-industrial landscapes and our domestic situations of our own construction.
David Gates designs and makes furniture from his studio in South London. His workbench looks across to the wharves, jetties, and silos of the river Thames; part of a landscape of industrial and agricultural architectural forms that inform his work. The rightness, balance, and expediency seen in these structures comprise a vernacular, one reflected in David’s use and adaptation of traditional, deliberate hand-making processes.
David was awarded a doctorate in Language Discourse and Communication from King’s College London for his phd thesis examining the relationship between craft and language. His research focussed on normally unnoticed and unremarkable narrative fragments in spoken discourse. His findings shows the work that locally-relevant talk does in craft practices, questioning the normative view of craft as tacit and silent
28th July to 13th October 2018
3rd – 10th August 2019
Thames Side Studios