Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cleverness


Cleverness and art are not the same thing. Artistic dry laid stonework (including projects that are conceived and constructed as 'impermanent' installations) should aim for a degree of enduring aesthetic appeal rather than merely being perceived as 'clever'. Stones, while ever able (willing?) to adapt to infinite and prolonged variations of time and space are generally reluctant to be associated with 'novelty'. Innovation, like renovation is not what proper dry stone work is all about. 

The drive to be 'creative' should be coupled with an understanding that stones and rocks transcended cleverness a long time ago. If we are to use them properly we would do well to emphasize their more profound qualities. Wisdom differs from cleverness in its perspective. Walls and dry stone features without perspective, structures lacking any relationship to their surroundings or having no chronological context are more likely to be shallow party tricks rather than works of art.

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