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chaise-woman-in-river-lettersWhat is the value of a title?

Titling work forms the portal for others to step inside and explore the possibilities of what the work may be about – so why do some artists elect to not endow a title?

My own viewpoint is that up until the point of titling the work it is a gift for myself – created in my attempts to understand the world in all its fractured states.  From that point it becomes an invitation to others where balancing the combination of intrigue and wonder demands insightful reflection of the issue I am addressing in the work, but also a love of words. The titles aim to have an oblique potency that act as a catalyst for igniting debate, so selecting a title to engender this is a preoccupation.

Collaborating with scientists is the main focus of my own work – together we investigate the notion of ‘manscape’ – humanity’s illusion of the naturalness of the environment, hence the titling sometimes becomes laced with scientific referencing, as in Atomic Equilibrium and Bio Myopia. The tension between approaches, objective scientific verses subjective artistic, the latter further skewed by emotional and philosophical underwriting, delivers titled gateways that appear off-kilter as in Beautiful Dystopias. The title evokes a collection of work where the relationship between contaminated environs and the anthropocentric compass is examined.

I recently finished writing my second reference book about sculpture (The Language of Mixed-Media Sculpture will be published next spring) and found that from a global perspective most sculptors I researched proffered titles for their works. I am interested to hear from a range of sculptors, those who do and those who do not title their work, about their reasoning behind their decision and the type of titles they chose.

Please join this debate.

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