To extend the analogy, could the move of crafters taking their work from online to real world be seen as the exhibition? The current trend for online craft makers to take their work offline and into Pop-Up shops could be seen as a way to test markets and gain customer feedback.
This has also got me further thinking about the function and historical role of the artist’s studio and the similarities and differences between the traditional studio and the online studio.
· Place to make work
· To try out ideas
· Feedback on work in progress
Squalor and creative mess are the aesthetics of the artist’s studio. The haphazard detritus of creation spills onto every available surface. These images are for consumption and appeal to a general desire of seeing the artist as their physical nature, the visceral paint, life – the feeling of this being the space where creation happens.
The images shared by crafters online generally lack this chaos. There is order and composition in the images of work in progress shared, and as I have argued, bears similarities to the genre of still life. The angles of the images are tightly cropped, rather than the wide view of studio making, what is often presented is the work presented with other markers of taste; a chair, book, vase or other arrangement.
Images of the artist studio and the online craft ‘studio’ are both formalised in images to show taste. The viewer hopes to see the mythical site of creation (mess) and the composed images of craft (order).
The online craft website is always ‘open’ and therefore, needs to share the making of work with their audience. There is little point in making craft for sale online if the making cannot be shared and seen. Important to craft is the hand of the maker.
At the exhibition of new art, we don’t see the making. The art is removed from the studio context. Craft is valued when we see the process of how it was made.
|Barbara Hepworth's studio, via TATE|