‘A Place to Gather’ is as much about the individual objects as their relationships with each other, their place of origin and their maker. The impression created when they share a space together - an atmosphere, a qualitative not quantitative thing. ‘A Place to Gather’ is about an approach and craft’s relationship to a wider culture. It is about a maker, a practical person in an often bewildering world. It is about a person; rooted and aware, drenched in the weather and materials of the land, part of a community, local and global, hedgerows and cables, influenced from inside and out, time’s power being respected and the materials’ better nature drawn forth. It is about a holistic way of thinking, an approach that creates objects of use - be that practical, emotional or intellectual. Objects that hold the tactility of their construction and through their use add value.
As humans we are meant to gather, to commune; to relate emotionally and spiritually, to share, to question and to support. This is a gathering of objects, and a gathering of people.
Barry McGee interviewed by The NYTimes:
The San Francisco-based artist’s urban-inspired paintings and installations may pack a serious visual wallop, but his family’s cozy Colonial Revival-style house, in the city’s Mission district, is completely chill. Artworks by friends and treasures culled from vintage stores and antique markets around the world stand in for formal décor. ‘‘Everything in the house is connected to us personally,’’ McGee says. As much can be said of his no-frills fashion sense. ‘‘Some of my favorite pieces are from thrift shops. When I find something I really love, I live, work and sleep in it.’’ Some things, however, he’d sooner let go of. Asked about his current midcareer retrospective at the Berkeley Art Museum, he says, ‘‘It’s very intense to go back to the past and revive work that I’ve already experienced and moved forward from. It’s like seeing an old girlfriend — awkward at times, nostalgic at times and downright maddening and embarrassing.
You walk in, your clothes dark
and strangely appropriate, an arrogance
about you as if you had a ramrod
for a spine. You feel posture-perfect.
When you speak, women move away.
You smile, and men see tombstones.
They think they know who you are,
that they could throw you out
as they could one man. But today you are
every man who has been omitted
from any list: how quickly they see
they would have no chance.
You pour yourself a drink,
as if ready to become one of them.
Under your skin, nerve endings, loose
wires, almost perceivable. Something
somewhere is burning. You tell them
you’ve dreamed of moments like this,
to be in their lovely house,
to have everyone’s attention. You ask
of the children, are they napping?
You extend your hand to the host,
who won’t take it, reminds you
you were not invited, never will be.
You have things in your pockets
for everybody. House gifts.
Soon you’ll give them out.
If only they could understand
how you could be ruined
by kindness, how much
you could love them
if they knew how to stop you.
Painting: John Coch’s Cocktail Party
Max Bill & Le Corbusier by Ernst Scheidegger.
My drawings have to be quick. If they don’t happen in 20 minutes or a half hour, then they’re no good.
I sympathise with Mr. Kelly, I find myself not wanting to spend much time on a drawing in fear of losing the purity of the moment.