Above Image – The Useful Bench by Dunhill & O’Brien. Image Source.
Mark Dunhill and Tamiko O’Brien began working collaboratively in 1998, and are now based in London. They were both individual artists before coming together when they worded, what if, they have now created over 20 successful projects, several of which they discussed in this week’s Gravity lecture.
The lecture was structured so they both talked in sync, it felt quite scripted but was just natural to them which is a good sign of a collaborative group. They first began to discuss the theme of Gravity this year; Form.
‘Form preoccupies us, how can we two individuals make form?’. So from this they are clearly driven around creating form, which I later learned was by making sculpture. They then produced an object of form; a potato. They discussed the humanity of a potato and how its created from its inside but is formed (shaped) by what it bumps into underground, it then can take many forms; Chips, Crisps, they were fascinated with the magic of digging it up and the element of surprise it was, not knowing how it will look. All of this was very reflective of their project; Holes 1 & 2.
In this project Dunhill & O’Brien would dig up holes to create a form and then plaster cast the hole which was then made into Ceramic objects. This was clearly inspired by the process of a potato forming but slightly more controlled. I really liked how they used their vision of a form in a potato, then replicated and edited this to create their own ‘forms’. The casts were not the final work, they then attached steel stands and a motor to them enabling them to pirouette around the space, so these forms are never seen the same as they are forever moving – which is an addition to create form further. I also liked why they placed them on stands;
“These ornate pedestals rise them from loneliness”
They both continued to discuss their projects together, but what interested me about them was their passion for their material and drive to create form which I believe they did extremely well.
I also admired their work aesthetic of “collaborative argumentative”, they very much agree to disagree, which was present in the lecture today. They are both collaborating yet remain individual which made their work ethic so successful. They clearly have similar interests and a passion to explore form, seeing this in a person or two persons, in this case, was really admirable.
Dunhill & O’Brien – http://www.dunhillandobrien.co.uk/