The search for patterns in a particularly human urge that allows us to understand our world and anticipate what might happen next. This search is an essential part of scientific investigation and a mainstay of art, craft and design. We find it very satisfying when we finally recognise a pattern where there appears to be none. Computers are particularly adept at dealing with even the most complex patterns. Computer applications, in association with other devices, allow us to describe and specify patterns of movement and light from both nature and the built environment. These may then be translated into 3D objects taking the form of vessels, decorative objects, clothing and sculpture, perhaps allowing us to see and touch what we could not before.
My experience of the Oh Void 1 by Ron Arad was automatically to think: “What a statement piece!” The chair has a particular aura to it, its own presence that much of the other works did not. It appears to be two large ellipses stuck together at the perfect angle in order to balance and have somebody sit themselves onto it. Arad’s creative process of mixing raw and polished materials had left the Oh Void 1 in a red translucent state with straight lines incorporated within the work. To look at this piece from a number of different angles was mind blowing. The seat presents itself on its own stand in the centre of the walkway – I believe this to be the reason due to both it’s size and its presence as a piece of work.
To experiment with new forms and new materials by using both freehand and industrial technology, Arad was successful with the use of the elliptical shapes to create this piece. Bringing raw materials, and shapes together to create a household object that serves a purpose is difficult in itself. This work achieves this in such a way that it is hard to stop staring at it – it is elegantly beautiful as much as it is practical. The elliptical shape mixed with the straight black lines within the material made for an interesting flow of juxtaposed direction.
To find a material that looked a worked as well at this one would have been difficult. Arad would have needed something that was malleable but still structurally sound when it came to using the object as a chair. There would have been a number or different materials used while experimenting with this object, for example the proportions, colours, weights and voids.
Ron Arad attaches great importance to his works being one-offs. It would be more appropriate to call his seat furniture, seat objects. In his choice of materials, the labor-intensive process of making these pieces, and the unusual forms he designs, Ron Arad distances himself deliberately from mass produced furnishings. The audience are attracted to the pieces of work due to its overtly simple design and individualism that’s comes along with each piece – they are practical masterpieces!
Ron Arad doesn’t believe that his approach to work has evolved over the years, but the activities have. Him and his staff used to make things at his main studio where they’d cut and weld, but that now happens elsewhere.
His inspiration is described as “everything that happened until two minutes ago”. Ideas are described as the cheapest link in the chain which means that Arad claims he has never suffered from artist’s block, or doubted his work.
Arad’s inspiration flows through the end of a pencil and is described as his most useful tool. Although with the progression of technology most of the sketches he makes are now are on a Wacom tablet, where your pencil, or stylus, can pretend to be millions of things. Sometimes the prints that are made from the tablet, you would swear it’s a real water-colour.