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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Costello, workbooks

Week 4, 16-20 March 2020

Covid-19 and moving to remote study, discussion with Shannon Te Ao on how to critique ones own work and Max Lamb's 2011 Urushi Lacquer bench and stool

1. REMOTE LEARNING Given the rapid global transmission of Covid-19 we discussed how we could effectively continue our study remotely. Richard established a Facebook page for us to share links and works made, the need for digital workbooks was discussed and using Zoom to conduct meetings.


I asked Shannon to help me make sense of the feedback from week 2 crit session. He discussed how research informs the work rather than making a work to be an example of the research and suggested some steps to help critique one's work in order to understand it better. He said it is important for the artist to critique their work more than anyone else.

Four questions to ask oneself about the work and its residue of activity (process)

  1. Where was the material sourced?

  2. What activity occurred to the material?

  3. How did the artwork get made?

  4. How does it operate?

Using these questions Shannon asked me to critique this work - 1. Sourced - summer season, environment, sustainable natural materials discarded from pohutukawa when flower has been pollinated

2. Activity - sorting stamen that elevated them. Felting

3. Made - on floor, cellotape with square shapes laid, then stamen sifted through fingers above centre of square and allowed to drop. Sifted around edges to diffuse intensity of colour

4. Operate? on grey floor by white wall, formalist shape of square, diffusion of red colour, no hard edges, inclusive to other material coming into work.

Shannon felt if in a large room covering the floor it would be beautiful.


Max Lamb (a British furniture designer) collaborated with Hidetaka Wakashima to produce these beautiful rustic stool and bench that hold the mark of the maker and material. The black lacquer technique is a Japanese tradition used for over 9,000 years old.

Visit Max Lamb's website for more information. All photos are sourced from this website


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