Otago Polytechnic

Artist Michael Greaves considers how we describe the relationship between an object and its function.

"I have a personal interest in how objects present themselves as useful in the physical world, and then how they change when their use is irrelevant or somehow broken. My painting practice oscillates between ideas of the thing and the object. 

"We make sense of objects as a set of connected things that have a use. What is the difference between me making something, say for example a painting, and me encountering something made by someone else for another particular purpose? Where are the crossovers, or connections between these things of interest? and then can they work as a painting also? I term these as migrant objects, which essentially establishes their origin as in another place outside of our understanding until they are in use.

"In my most recent collection of paintings I have begun to respond to a growing set of quotations, or a vocabulary, that I have been noticing as important and reoccurring in my painting. These identified motifs, or passages of paint, let me respond to my interest in understanding the location of things, the difference of things, and in doing so allow for a variety of unimagined engagements with the painting.

"What I hope for my painting to achieve, and what it does achieve in the mind of the viewer is very difficult to predict, but I hope that my painting conjures in the viewer a re-imagination of sorts, of an object in relation to an unknown idea of an object, or another way of encountering a thing. This might materialise in asking questions of what drives humans to make objects that do not serve a functional role. How then can/has art exist/existed as a conduit between the physical and metaphysical worlds?"

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CREATIVE & PERFORMING ARTS

October 2018

Image credit: Michael Greaves, used with permission