Knot/Knotting Practice in Craft and Space
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Knot/knotting Practice in Craft and Space is a three part research-creation project that used a study of knotting techniques to locate craft in an expanded field of spatial practice. The first part consisted of practical, studio based exercises in which I worked with various natural and synthetic fibres to learn common knotting techniques. The second part was an art historical study that combined craft and architecture history with critical theory related to the social production of space. The third part was an exhibition of drawing and knotted objects titled Opening Closures. This document unifies the lines inquiry that define my project. The first chapter presents the art historical justification for knotting to be understood as a spatial practice. Nineteenth-century German architect and theorist Gottfried Semper’s idea that architectural form is derived from four basic material practices allies craft and architecture in my project and is the point of departure from which I make my argument. In the second chapter, to consider the methodological concerns of research-creation as a form of knowledge production and dissemination, I adopt the format of an instruction manual to conduct an analysis of knot types and to provide instructions for the production of several common knots. In the third chapter, I address the formal and conceptual underpinnings of each artwork presented in my exhibition. I conclude with a proposal for an expanded field of spatial practice by adapting art critic and theorist Rosalind Krauss’s well-known framework for assessing sculpture in 1960s.