And so the story goes……..
I started to explore
the concept of the beautiful object
by looking specifically at historical jewellery
but although visually pleasing,
I did not find them beautiful.
For me something was missing.
Of most interest were ones that showed the hand of the maker,
an element of the process involved while making the work,
that showed marks of time,
a sense of story,
beyond concepts of statements of
financial, social or religious status.
So, where to then,
what was a beautiful object to me,
combined together made me think ‘beautiful’?
I looked to the Art World,
flipping through catalogues and books
for ‘objects’ that jumped out at me,
looking for memories of works I had seen that had left me
that seemed to touch all my senses,
at least conceptually.
Marking pages with post-it notes, I searched my brain, trying to remember the last time I was ‘spellbound’ by something, an ‘object’.
Then it came to me.
Two years ago taken by a friend
to a Steve Reich concert at the Opera House.
I wasn’t fussed either way about going,
being a music Philistine,
I had no idea who Steve Reich was.
Up until then I had found music pleasant enough to listen to
(some sounds more than others)
but nothing beyond that.
At the end of the concert
I still didn’t know who Steve Reich was.
Memories of the music faded over time
but the impact it had on me is still present today.
The experience had indeed been a beautiful one,
it had opened my eyes and my ears to music.
The rhythmic pulsations,
and gradual shifting and unfolding of the work
gave me an immense sense of calm,
while also coming alive inside me,
seeping into my pores,
creating amazing imagery.
It was spellbinding.
But not an object, not for this project…
so back to the post-it notes…
‘for the most beautiful object’.
There wasn’t one.
But there was something.
What was it about the work of
her installation pieces of
rows and rows of coloured fabric?
Was it her formal concerns
regarding the arrangement of
Where the order and structure of the rows of colour,
give way to chance
through the hand dyed and textural qualities of the fabric?
Or Ding Yi,
with his references to cloth and everyday life.
The labour of the repetition of mark,
the sense of time and duration in his work.
Or Ariane epars,
her site specific installations using ordinary materials
from construction and everyday living,
applied in a non-conventional way.
labour intensive, repetitious…
’the days unfolding in a kind of private performance comprising relentless, repetitive gestures and a “struggle against the clock”’ 
who seems to paint similar paintings over and over,
with subtleties of differences.
His work always starting with the same formal grid structure
worked on in a methodical, mechanical manner,
marking out and overlaying geometric patterns of white.
At first glance the works seem set to exact geometrical formulas
but there are slight shifts,
with no focal point.
Or Lani Maestro’s ‘Cradle, 1996’,
of sleeplike enclosures of mosquito netting
evoke the feeling of
who again, uses the grid
and often works with multiple panels of identical pieces.
The Aboriginal works of
George Tjungurrayi and Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri
with their flowing abstracted lines.
The process of their painting,
often undertaken with a single, repetitive action,
but where imperfection is
allowed and embraced.
Where the viewer can see
where the artist stopped to reload their brush with paint.
The work of Debra Dawes,
And her gingham fabric paintings.
The repetition of the grid in her design,
broken with imperfections,
reflecting the hand of the artist,
reflecting time taken for breaks
and shifting of physical positions during the making of the work.
Or more recent work with vertical bars
of the canvas marked out, reflecting the days of the month,
which are filled in one a day (more if a day is missed).
The resulting work,
reflecting a visual statement
of the daily rhythms of life.
Judith Kentish’s ‘ Breath Carapace’
(the work chosen to represent the the objects I was drawn to),
which deals with concerns of the external and internal ‘skin’
folding and pleating in on itself,
shifting from form to formlessness,
a fraction of a smaller
work blown up with photocopies,
the grid holding the work together,
but with slight miscodings.
The scale of the piece invoking
a feeling of silent meditation.
The work of
the list goes on.
Back to Steve Reich’s music
with little variation of
where the listener needs to focus
with microscopic awareness
on a slowly changing sound.
Who explores ways in which
a rhythmic figure can move out of phase with itself.
Where there is no ‘focal point’
to the music.
Where concerns include the
‘hearing of the process by which the music is constructed’.
Reich argues that in order to help allow closely detailed listening,
a musical process must happen extremely gradually,
like the movement of
the minute hand of a watch.
Are the elements that I find ‘beautiful’
in an object or work of art?
the importance of
‘the process’ of the creation of the object
a sense of time,
of the time taken
during the making of the piece
A sense of rhythm,
but with a hand made quality,
allowing for tiny variations
and a sense of chance
which imparts vitality.
a concern for the detail,
the more one looks,
the more one sees/hears
A meditative quality,
The play of
light and shadow
A sense of refinement,
of what has been taken out, excluded
A sense of delicacy
but with strength
of being there
A sense of containment
but not restriction or confinement
A sense of ritual,
mutation of the mark and shape
 Pierre-Andre Lienhard, 1998, 11th Biennale Sydney