Friday, May 05, 2006

Art or Craft?

Yesterday I asked "What changes something from Craft into Art?" John has written an interesting piece about it on The Unstuck Diaries. Find out why it's more prestigious to be a starving artist than a reasonably-well-off craftsman.

I was thinking about which is which, looking at the photos yesterday. I like the carved woman looking out of the window. Whoever made her would probably think of himself/herself as a craftsman/woman but I don't care whether she is craft or art - I think she's great.

The flying horse is part of Pont Alexandre III, which is considered the most beautiful bridge in Paris. Such things are generally a bit over-the-top for my taste but I thought the whole bridge looked fantastic - if you're going to do showy, that's the way to do it.

I'd normally class the little house - which was actually a box for letters to be put in - as part of Garden Gnome Hell, but at least it was home-made and not a hideous acquisition from some garden centre. Craft, not art, in my opinion, but well-made. In a mediaeval French village they kind of got away with it - - but I feel it's heading for Tweeland and Disneyville and it will all go horribly wrong when Monsieur Dupont from the next village copies the idea and does it badly.

I love the large, twisted piece of wood - I suspect it's probably man-made but I couldn't get near enough to look without treading on its owner's plants. If it isn't a piece of driftwood, it looks like one and that's enough for me. I love driftwood in its strange shapes with its mysterious air of long journeys and distant places. To me this piece of wood is art because of the feelings it gives me.

John and David commented that Art is Craft plus passion and courage - that makes a lot of sense to me.


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