This drawing is one I recently completed in the new studio. I have been thinking about how culture changes in response to new technologies and how that creates blends of the old and the new.
I have used the willow pattern from my Crown Lynn Plates and changed an element in the pattern to incorporate a symbol of modern communications technology. Crown Lynn crockery is a bit of a symbol in NZ culture. It was made in NZ, accessible for the everyday man, and was mass produced in patterns and symbols that reflected NZ’s culture at the time (or it’s wish to mimic or assimilate other cultures). In my family, each household has an eclectic mix of Crown Lynn pieces, sets that have been acquired or broken up over the years and my favourite pieces, the scenery plates, serve as a memory trigger for family meals and occasions, for a kind of nostalgia. Incorporating the twitter bird into this pattern acts as an assimilation of new culture into old. At a recent family occasion, a Twitter feed became part of the conversation, our family culture has incorporated a contemporary culture with the younger digital native generation.
One of the things that I have found interesting about this drawing is that many of the people who have seen this drawing don’t notice that the bird has changed. They accept the pattern as a faithful portrayal and don’t see the change. I plan on continuing with this idea and drawing a bit of a series of Crown Lynn plate scenery, adding or changing an element in the pattern to incorporate new technology, I will continue to work in ballpoint pen as it is easy to use, accessible, permanent and comes in appropriate colours.
Things I have been thinking about in relation to this drawing:
The urge to collect and display plates, part of a kind of older culture, its like collecting and displaying NZ culture.
The transformation of the pattern from original hand painted patterns ( historic plate painting traditions) to a hand drawn pattern by the designer at Crown Lynn (mimicking the historic patterns), to a mass produced print, then to a hand-drawn mimicry of the mass produced print.
Assimilation, both of new technology into culture but also of technological elements into our visual landscape, and how we often don’t notice them.
Shifting between analogue and digital technologies.
as a media investigation it is interesting to see what kinds of textures and colour range can be coaxed out of a simple writing tool.