An investigation of the sculpture/language homology
This research is concerned with the implications of reading sculpture as a mode of communication that is indicative of an art/language homology. An investigation of the inter-relationship of the functions of ‘Language’ and 'Conventions of Visual Communication' is viewed against contemporary redefinitions of the role of sculpture, its character of presentation and mode of engagement with respondents. Theoretical investigation examines models of communication and identifies corresponding systems in an art that is exemplified by the sculpture of Tony Cragg. Cragg's significantly organised collections of commonplace objects, presenting the visual assertiveness of the 'ready-made' prompt a reconsideration of the object as a semantic commodity that embodies narrative. The artifact itself is viewed as a visual reference that induces a sequence of complex associations. A reading of the sculpture's multi-layered mimetic, metaphorical and metonymic indices implies the acceptance of paradigmatic conventions of signification within a communication system frequently described as a 'language of sculpture'. The connotative and denotative nature of a materialised, but idealised, presentation of object imagery suggests that Cragg's sculpture is the vehicle of a dialectic process. It is the art of the 'bricoleur' that embodies a readily accessible lexical and semantic content constructed from the readily available signifiers 'to hand'. The exploratory and reflective investigations of the integral studio projects are concerned with the communication values of contiguous object-entities, in a visual process that links associations in the manner of rhetorical tropes. In a polysemic interaction of visual identities this semantic transposition of a sculptural aesthetic aims to expose relationships connecting expressive material form, image semiosis and object/word associations. The sculptural processes of making-to-reading reveal a systematic structuring of meaning, as the mechanisms of perception are directed by the conceptual modelling of cognitive thought patterns.