I have managed to get the work for the exhibition finished before I go away on holiday for two weeks at the end of this week. Hurray!
Now comes the gritty problem of deciding what everything is going to be called. I have of course had names in mind as I have been making the work as I need to be able to distinguish one work from another. Each piece or series of pieces stems from an idea or a place or a happening and often the title I have in mind has something to do with that. But more often than not I think of the work as the materials it is made of – ‘painted cloth’, ‘black waxed pot’ …. basically, it is called what it is!
So am I going to call the work by its idea or by its material? I have to think why do you title work? Why not just leave it as Untitled I or Untitled II? I have looked at artists whose concerns, like mine, are place and/or materials and how have addressed this problem.
Leonardo Drew works with materials and numbers his work.
Leonardo Drew, Number 39, 1994
That method catalogues the work but isn’t memorable!
There are artists who title their work by colour ….
Sandra Blow, Green and White, 1969
…. or by shape and form ….
Barbara Hepworth, Oval Sculpture (No 2), 1943
…. or by place or the idea of a place
Peter Lanyon, Coast, 1953
Again, not particularly memorable titles but they do the job of differentiation.
Or I could suggest the concept or origin of the work ….
Mark Tobey, Northwest Drift, 1958
But my preferred method is to include in the title the things that were most important to the making of the work ….
Tacita Dean, The Roaring Forties: Seven Days in Seven Boards, 1997
Tacita Dean’s title suggests place, narrative and the passing of time – all important in her evocation of black and white film.
Place, natural processes and sound and as well as materials and the process of making are the foundation of the work for ‘Caught by the Tide’. So I expect to use elements of all of these things in the titles of my work.
Bitumen cloth fragment with Aeoline pipes
More titles when I get back in about 3 weeks!