brigit's reflection on her work

I have been looking at objects that are used on a daily bases by most of us and designed to make our life easier. I chose objects that are part of my everyday life, items that most of us are familiar with. What changes in my or others perception when I replace certain elements of this object?

In many ways, the chair is a stand-alone work (hopefully the beginning of a longer investigation). Looking at the functionality of the chair, I have replaced part of the back support and replaced it with a simplified wooden spine. I have chosen to replicate the material of the chair rather than using bone. I intend the spine to clearly be a part of the chair but visually almost melting with what it is supposed to support. I view the chair as almost symbolic, an object that is a part of every house almost worldwide, and an object that symbolizes inclusion, sharing and community.

At the same time I have been working with a series of tools. We use tools to work the land, to build and to dig. I am interested in tools as an extension to our body - extensions that enhance our abilities and without which we couldn’t achieve certain tasks. Seldom do we question the functionality of those objects - unless we use them for the first time, or they fail.

What happens when the solid handle of a sledgehammer is replaced with a crocheted handle made of string, or the wooden handle of an ax is replaced with piece of rope? We clearly still recognize the object. Every object has a defining element (here it is the ax head and the hammer head). The functionality of the tools though is fundamentally changed. In this instance the handle doesn’t serve its function, the tool is rendered useless.

As well as functionality I am investigating the relevance of materials. Looking at the sledgehammer again, when the wood is replaced with string, it is not only the functionality that changes but also the appearance and the function of an object.

Through learning and experience, we are all full of expectations. As long as our expectations are met, we take the materiality and form of objects for granted. In many instances functionality comes before design and in an ideal world, both needs are met. What does it take to realize that the appearance of an object has been changed considerably?

By creating subtle changes where a handle turns into a branch or the wooden handle is rusted, I am attempting to create those linkages between the original object and the origin of its history and the maker.

It is my intention for the changes in the objects to be aesthetically subtle, poetic and in some instances to be entering the realm of the ridicules. Whilst still recognizable, functionality in all instances has seriously been tampered with.