Thursday, May 6, 2010

Concrete Survey, Part 1

It's time for a report back on the ArtConcrete non-scientific survey, now that responses have slowed. This is how it breaks down for the first three questions.

83% of the respondents have actually made something artistic out of concrete (question 3), so this is obviously not a general-public sort of survey, but more a survey from those who know the material. People reported they made mostly sculptures, along with lots of other functional objects like bowls, birdbaths and even furniture and jewelry.

Speaking of jewelry (question 2), 66% said they thought concrete was an appropriate material for making jewelry. 6% said "no", and 29% said "maybe." Maybe? Surely this is a black and white issue. There were lots of interesting comments here:
  • "Wonder a bit about the long term wearability of concrete jewelry and how it holds up to skin oils, perfume, etc."
  • "Stretch the boundaries, why not."
  • "I am a jewelery maker who works in metals but cannot wait to try concrete... just a little scared about dropping it."
  • "I would have to see, touch, experience the piece, to decide fully whether it was what I would consider wearable art."
  • "Art is alchemy."
  • "If comfortable and more refined than a lot of outdoor sculpture."   
  • "In small scale other materials may work better. However, depends on the artist and what effect you're looking for."
  • "I've made some cast concrete (really heavy) large scale 'martyr' necklaces (completely unwearable, but funny)..."

Overall (question 1), 97% agreed concrete was an appropriate material for art, with only 3% saying maybe. Nobody said "not appropriate." About a third of the respondents added comments to this question, and some of them were really good:
  • "Any material - or non-material - is appropriate for art."
  • "Just look at how gorgeous Rachel Whiteread's sculptures are. The surface and the way it ages are beautiful." (Whiteread is the British sculptor who filled the inside of a house - about to be demolished - with concrete, then took the building away, exposing the volume of the spaces inside.)
  • "Beats pickled shark." Where did that come from?
  • "Have been experimenting with papercrete (recycled/shredded paper, concrete and bit of clay) working through head issues such as, is this a legitimate art material. Like the lighter weight, green reuse/recycle aspects."
  • "I love the fast results from Wet Concrete carving. I have also worked with armature and hve enjoyed that also."
  • "As a casting, laying-up, and carving material, it has superior qualities."
  • "I consider concrete appropriate material for art works as long as it's durable. Sometimes, I'm astounded by the beauty of concrete used in everyday, construction purposes. The other day... I came upon some very old concrete footings in the woods, probably to hold up a bridge... I guess I consider "appropriate" a bit of an understatement! It can be most desirous, in my mind."
  • "Emphatically yes. Ideal for the artist that has plenty of inspiration and little cash."
  • "Strong, cheap and convenient. Downsides are weight, lack of detail."
  • "Absolutely the most versatile medium going!"
I couldn't agree more. Those are the responses to the first three questions in the survey. I'll summarize the final three in the next blog post.

1 comment:

Philip High said...

>>"Beats pickled shark." Where did that come from?

LOL. It was a reference to Damien Hirst's Shark in formaldehyde.