Joseph Walsh (1979) is a designer-maker whose work reflects his passion for expression through material and form. Inspired by the free, uplifting and ever-changing grace found in nature, he has developed a creative process which captures the fluidity of a sketch, of the moment of inspiration, and in which the final form is only defined through its making. From the moment of founding his own studio and workshop, Joseph Walsh pursued innovation and experimentation, breaking the traditional rules of making, and indeed his own rules, in order to create the truly bold and expressive forms for which he is known today. From monumental scale sculptures to the exquisite craftsmanship of a single chair, every piece within his dynamic body of work reveals an intuitive relationship with making, a sympathetic use of materials and an expressive engagement with form.
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Photography: Andrew Bradley
The Sublime Nature of Being’ is an immersive, multi-sensory group exhibition of innovative works by contemporary artists that explore the universal human experience of awe and reverence inspired by nature, and its ability to conjure an emotional understanding that transcends rational thought, words and language.
Curated and produced by Ambika Hinduja Macker, artist, founder and creative director of art and design firm Impeccable Imagination, in collaboration with ICD Brookfield Place, 'The Sublime Nature of Being' invites the viewer to participate emotionally, imaginatively and sensorially while exploring our relationship to the surrounding environment. From the ethereal and divine to the ephemeral and personal, the exhibition is an Alchemic Sonic Environment that features a variety of sculptures, modular components and spacial sound to stir hope and deep reflection.
What is the sensation we experience while interacting with nature when words fail or we find ourselves awed beyond reason? How does an artist convey the indescribable and translate the metaphysical to material? ‘The Sublime Nature of Being’ explores the humbling, purity of the natural cosmos and our relationship to it by creating imagined, transportive worlds, conjured through the magic of creativity.
For centuries, scholars have debated the term ‘Sublime’ in relation to works of art, and artists have sought to evoke or respond to it. But what is ‘The Sublime’? The sublime is a philosophical approach and state of mind often defined as having the quality of such greatness, whether spiritual, physical, aesthetic or moral, that our ability to perceive or comprehend it is temporarily overwhelmed by a sense of the wonder and impermanence of the universe.
‘The Sublime Nature of Being’ explores aspects of this philosophy and the modern interpretation of the Japanese term ‘Ukiyo’ meaning ‘living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life,’ and examines the belief that contemplation of these themes leads to the subsequent feelings of admiration and responsibility. This allows for the intertwining of aesthetics and ethics, two key elements that are relevant to society today, especially in light of change and apprehension as we consider the future of humanity.
Creating an immersive and multisensory experience that includes three-dimensional installations, sound and scent, a play on time and space, contrasts of light and shadow, elemental materials and fluid forms, ‘The Sublime Nature of Being’ invites the audience on a unique journey with a contemplative dimension – a search for a higher truth. By stepping into the space, one is transported into a utopian sanctuary of tranquility and beauty, providing a temporary reprieve and poetic antidote to the external chaos of the present day.