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ABSTRACT

Verbal metaphor is used in the linguistics to compare two things that are different to make them appear as one. The study contends that verbal metaphors should not be the only means of communicating phenomenon of hunger,and owing to this, it should be explored beyond language meaning. The problem of this study therefore, is that verbal metaphor does not address the issue of phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria in concrete forms.The study therefore, explores the problem of how the transformation of verbal metaphor into sculptures can address the issue of phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria using „readymade food vessels‟. In this study, what constitute knowledge are the analytical creative sculpture processes; the art work and their interpretations, theorising of the art works creates to give insight. To this end, the study pays attention to how to explore themetaphors within the five objectives of the study. Based on the objectives, the study created sculpture installation from „readymade food vessels‟.The study uses food vessels as multiple media that integrate visual balance, in making meaning of events. The metaphor „Food for Thought‟ is used in producing sculptures with „readymade food vessels‟. The study creates sculptures which are derived from phenomenon of hunger. The study creates a site specific sculpture installation of visual metaphor which emphasises idea and form. This study is justified because,by its attempt to transfer metaphors into visual forms using „readymade food vessels‟,it has partly answered the pondering question about the significance of art.The review of related literature reveals that, although some artists have created sensuous relations or materiality in art as visual metaphors, they did not derive it from dialectical means of those words that discuss phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria. The qualitative methodology which involves art practice based research and intuitive inquiry are used to present in details the sequence of the study to create knowledge. For the purpose of data (information) collection, the study adopts the primary and secondary sources of information method. The exploration and discussion of data (information collected) involve the use of observation, visualisation and exploration which are based on five intuitive stages. In the course of exploring verbal metaphors into sculptures, the findings are thatit is possible to create sculpture installationsfrom „readymade food vessels‟. The study found that „readymade food vessels‟ transformed from their utilitarian function to become visual metaphors in sculpture that convey phenomenon of hunger.It was also found that the metaphor „Food for Thought‟ transformed into alternative form in sculptures which embody intellect.The study further found that alternative sculpture was derived as an analogy of the phenomenon of hunger which was presented as a thought process in visual thinking. It was alsofound that a site specific sculpture installation which emphasises idea and intellect is possible to be achieved. Consequently the study holds that, verbal metaphors rematerialize into visual metaphors in sculpture, to give insight, to the phenomenon of hungerin Nigeria. The study therefore concludes that exploration of sculpture using „readymade food vessels‟ has become visual text which conveys in concrete forms,the phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria. The study, having identified some of the problems that may require further studies recommends that other materials, techniques, and Nigerian idioms should be explored in visual form.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover Page ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… i
FlyLeaf…. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. iii
Title Page ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ii
Declaration ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. iii
Certification ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… iv
Dedication …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. v
Acknowledgements ……………………………………………………………………………………………. vi
Abstract.. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. vii
Table of Contents …………………………………………………………………………………………….. viii
Listof Figures ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. xi
List of Plates ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. xii
CHAPTER ONE: ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.0 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1 Introduction to the Study ………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2 Background to the Study ………………………………………………………………………… 4
1.3 Statement of the Problem ……………………………………………………………………… 12
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study …………………………………………………………… 14
1.5 Justification for the Study …………………………………………………………………….. 14
1.6 Significance of the Study ……………………………………………………………………… 15
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study ……………………………………………………… 16
1.8 Conceptual and Theoretical Framework …………………………………………………. 16
CHAPTER TWO ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 20
2.0. Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………………….. 20
2.1 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
2.2 Review of Artists’-Ideas and Philosophy ………………………………………………… 21
2.2.1 Conceptual Art ……………………………………………………………………………………. 21
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2.2.2 Arnheim (1904-2007) ………………………………………………………………………….. 25
2.2.2.1 Arnheim: Word in Place ………………………………………………………………………. 30
2.2.3 Gombrich (1909-2001) ………………………………………………………………………… 37
2.2.3.1 Metaphor and Substitution ……………………………………………………………………. 41
2.2.4 Langer (1895-1985) …………………………………………………………………………….. 44
2.3 Review of Artist and Related Works ……………………………………………………… 48
2.3.1 Duchamp Marcel (1887-1968) ………………………………………………………………. 48
2.3.2 Wolfgang Laib (b. 1950) ……………………………………………………………………… 54
2.3.3 Meret Oppenheim (1913 – 1985) …………………………………………………………… 57
2.3.4 Lucas Samaras (b. 1936) ………………………………………………………………………. 61
2.3.5 Cildo Meireless …………………………………………………………………………………… 64
2.3.6 Lauren Berkowitz (b.1965) …………………………………………………………………… 68
2.3.7 Katharine Harvey ………………………………………………………………………………… 71
2.3.8 Maha Malluh ………………………………………………………………………………………. 74
2.3.9 Ayman Baalbaki (b.1975) …………………………………………………………………….. 78
2.3.10 Ayo Aina(b. 1969.) ……………………………………………………………………………… 80
2.3.11 Kainabi Osahenye (b.1964) ………………………………………………………………….. 86
CHAPTER THREE ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 92
3.0 Research Methodology …………………………………………………………………………. 92
3.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………… 92
3.2 Art Practice Based Research …………………………………………………………………. 93
3.3 Data Collection …………………………………………………………………………………… 95
3. 3.1 Materials ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 96
3.4 Translation of Idea ………………………………………………………………………………. 96
3.5 Uses of Resource Materials ………………………………………………………………….. 99
3.6 Techniques Employed ………………………………………………………………………… 105
3.7 Systematic Illustration of Processes/Procedures …………………………………….. 107
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3.7.1 Observation ………………………………………………………………………………………. 108
3.7.2 Visualisation …………………………………………………………………………………….. 108
3.7.3 Exploration of Idea, Form and Processes ……………………………………………… 118
3.7.3.1 First Intuitive Visual Stage …………………………………………………………………. 120
3.7.3.2 Second Intuitive Visual Stage ……………………………………………………………… 122
3.7.3.3 Third Intuitive Visual Stage ………………………………………………………………… 123
3.7.3.4 Fourth Intuitive Visual Stage ………………………………………………………………. 126
3.7.3.5 Fifth Intuitive Visual Stage …………………………………………………………………. 128
CHAPTER FOUR …………………………………………………………………………………………… 130
4.0 Discussion ………………………………………………………………………………………… 130
4.1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………. 130
4.1 General Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………….. 152
CHAPTER FIVE ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 157
5.0 Artist Philosophy/Curatorial Statement ………………………………………………… 157
5.1 Catalogue of Works …………………………………………………………………………… 164
CHAPTER SIX ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 183
6.0 Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations ……………………………………… 183
6.1 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 183
6.2 Findings …………………………………………………………………………………………… 187
6.3 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 190
6.4 Recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………… 192
GLOSSARY ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 194
REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 196
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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1Introduction to the Study Among the Igbo of Southern Eastern Nigeria, metaphor is used in proverbs „Ilu’ for the communication of ideas,events, dates, records and to drive home a point. The use of metaphor in Igbo proverbs is a non-material heritage that serves as a means of expression and thought. The Igbo prefer the use of metaphor in proverbs during conversation and in paying homage. Egudu (1972) holds that, apart from its aesthetic attributes, in the case of Igbo culture, proverbs remain the ready tools for thinking, communication and way of life. Metaphor aids proverb to embellish speech with artistic beauty, which ordinarily, it may not have. It challenges, persuades, and attracts the listener to the conversation. Agbada (1990) is of the view that, the Igbo proverbs possess philosophy, cognition, aesthetic, and traditional sensibility that engage the listener. He further states that, the usual deployment of proverb, is the philosophical turn of the mind, which is used to measure one’s intelligence. The researcher is fascinated by the Igbo’s use of metaphor in proverbs. The people use metaphor in their proverbs during personal and social engagements, such as in celebration of new yam festivals ‘Iriji’ and breaking of Kola nuts ‘Iwa Orji’. The processes of the events seem similar to some modern day performance art. The issue is that metaphor, when used in proverbs, may only be understood by those who know the language. It is because of this, that there is the need, to create a non-discursive form in sculpture, that is not based on a particular dialect or language in order that, meaning may be constructed by different viewers.
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In linguistic, metaphor is a figure ofspeech that is used to clearly express imagery in words. It is incorporated in some other aspects of art, such as, visual and auditory art, to portray events, thoughts and imagery. Carrol (2001) explains that, art works are metaphors and that there are some visual images, that function in the same way that verbal metaphors do, and whose point is identified by the viewer, in roughly the same way that, the point of verbal metaphors is identified by the reader or listener. Carrol claims that some art works, are considered as metaphoric, because they communicate in same way as verbal metaphors. This means that, it is not mostly the exploration of form, in any medium which results into sculpture that is metaphorical. Robert (2004) and Brown in Robert (2004), support that, metaphors are statements, that operate in larger contexts, as analogy where two things, are compared to each other. They maintained that, visual metaphors, interpret how virtual space, is organized as a means of sharing cultural and social knowledge. It entails that metaphors, portray thought, it makes the mind to think about culture and space, in conceptual or aesthetic form. Metaphors give insights that create knowledge from simple or ordinary cultural experience to a meaningful abstract thought. Sullivan (2010) opines that visual metaphor involves creating an image, which suggests a resemblance of one thing to something else, so as to think it is the same thing, as another. It means that metaphor, when used visually sees one thing, as another, instead of saying it is like something else, and uses image, rather than words, to compare things in order to engage the viewer. Mossberg (2014) explains that, the artist uses metaphor symbolism, and allegory to create visual metaphor, which portrays emotion, experience, and ideas, instead of words. He further opines that in the 19th century, Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Odilon Redon (1880-1916), and Edward Munch (1824-
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1898) all used allegory to engage the viewer. Frida Kahlo, Rene Magritte, and Salvador Dali, he further holds, built their career and reputations on the use of metaphor. Thus, metaphor may have opened some possibilities for these artists to create form, from formless aspect of human expression and experience. The creative use of metaphor, may have given birth to a way of thinking in art, the visual presentation of metaphoric ideas. A few examples of such ideas can be found in the works of Picasso and Duchamp. Adams (2007),affirmed by Rathus(2010),explains that, Picasso in his experiments with assemblage, created the ‘Bull Head’ from found objects, using a bicycle’s seat and set of hand bars. Also, another great artist by name Duchamp, took a bicycle wheel and mounted it on a stool as a readymade art and it becameart (Lazzari and Schelesier, 2008). The creation of visual metaphor by some artists earlier mentioned by Mossberg (2014) and Adams (2007), challenges the researcher to think of the phenomenon of hunger, as an issue that can be metaphorically explored in sculpture, using ‘readymade food vessels’. Sighting some of the discarded ‘readymade food vessels’ in the environment daily, has motivated the researcher on the possibility of creating visual metaphor in sculpture, in the light of Dewey, in Pring (2007), who advocates, that artists should create a new order of conception, which leads to new mode of practice. He further explains that, in thinking about what one is doing, that one is necessarily thinking about purpose and value, that inform practice, nature of knowledge and experiences transmitted. Dewey holds that, ideas have to be tried out in practice, hence, the conceptualisation of exploring metaphor in sculpture, using ‘readymade food vessels’,
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1.2Background to the Study Modern sculpture was born in Europe when some of the art movements, such as Realism, Impressionism, and Post-impressionism, challenged ideas and meaning of classical artistic conventions. Since then, a new wave of interest, in exploration of forms in sculpture, became a concern of most sculptors. Modernism, created the opportunities for sculptors, to explore sculptures from other perspectives that, involve the imagination. McEvilley(1999) opines that, prior to Modernism, ancient sculptors created sculpture that dealt with portraying the soul as embodyingthe spiritual being that, exist independent of the body it occupies. She further maintains that the ancient sculptors‟ desire to create a model of human perfection,was related to Plato’s idea that, for each species there is an absolute model of perfection, on which individual embodiments are however distantly and imperfectly based. Although modernism challenged classical tradition, the idea of the soul remained prominent and influenced the exploration of sculpture. During modernism, representational sculpture was realised in realism and therefore, became an issue of concern to modernist sculptors. For instance, Auguste Rodin, Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, Antoine Bourdelle and Augustus Saint-Gaudens explored three dimensional sculptures by inducing light sensations, strength and massiveness in their sculptures. They combined anatomy and motion of human form, with the sculpture surface textured in order to achieve a realist sensation in sculpture. Physical quality of sculptural objects, its identity-status in realistic form, continued to be explored to capture human feelings. Kleiner (2010) holds that the three dimensional art of sculpture, due to its solidity and permanence, could not portray optical sensations which many painters in the later 19th century explored. The sculptors of thatmodernism period explored different techniques and methods in the context of
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modernism to reflect new experiences that make meaning. In the 20th century, when societies were becoming aware of new ways of thinking and doing things in different fields, exploration of abstract sculpture evolved. Different ideas, materials, and techniques were explored to create abstract sculptures, that differ in form and content from realistic sculptures. Warner and Fleming (2005) supported by Cernuschi (2009) opine that, the introduction of abstract art, that does not copy the appearance of things, but rather selects and distils its essence,is an important contribution to 20th century history of art. Theyhold that the introduction of abstract art has encouraged a wide range of artistic techniques, materials and the redefinition of art. Hence, that abstraction eliminates imitation of the exterior surface, in order to appeal to the consciousness of the viewer. Vishnu (2009) and Cernuschi (2009) explain that, Constantine Brancusi was a leading sculptor who championed abstract sculpture. He simplified sculpture to its basic elements in order to bring out the abstract and aesthetic quality of the sculptures that were rendered in different materials. Kleiner (2009) posits that in the 1940s, during the post war years however, modernism was increasingly identified with formalism, which emphasized visual elements, rather than its subject. Abstract sculptures were inspired by organic objects in nature, which are reduced to their basic geometrical shapes, dimensions, and structure by the processes, imagination and emotion of the sculptor. In this direction, organic forms found in nature and landscape were explored with the introduction of hole or voids. Examples of some sculptors who have explored organic forms to create abstract sculptures are Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). They explored abstract sculptures of organic object in nature, by introducing deep holes and voids to portray sculptural idioms of organic vitality and space. On the other
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hand, another sculptor David Smith, explored abstract sculptures based on the creation of geometric shapes, lines, transparency and opacity in order to realise new forms, style of abstraction and expressionism (Warner and Fleming, 2005). After World War 1, some sculptors abandoned abstract philosophies and ideas to explore Surrealism, based on dreams and everyday experience. Cernuschi (2009) posits that, in 1924 surrealist artists based their exploration on Sigmund Freud’s, theories of the division of the conscious mind and unconscious mind, where a person’s innermost thoughts, feelings and desiresare repressed. Thus to understand the unconscious human mind, some sculptors were inspired to explore every day experiences, dreams and objects to give insight to the human mind. Forinstance, while MeretOppenheim explored the unconscious mind by assembling functional objects, Alberto Giacometti tried to analysethe idea of surrealism by creating human sculptures that appear elongated or as functional objects. Apart from abstract sculptures, there was also a new art consciousness for exploration of ‘new art’ because of the effect of World War 11, and the movement of the art market from Paris to New York. In the bid to channel a new art, John Cage suggested means for the change. Geitlein(2008) explains that, Cage, in suggesting a different path for art to follow, holds that “music andart should be affirmation of life not an attempt to bring order out of chaos, nor suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we are living”. He further explains that, John Cage had also suggested that, visual art should be inspired by the lively art of theatre for renewal. Assemblage, open form sculpture and happenings, came to reflect the call. Construction and Assemblage were inspired by Picasso’s cubist collage and sculpture that were executed in three dimensions, and Braque’s collage works (Vishnu, 2009). Rather than creating abstract sculptures and to capture realistic sensation as was
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formerly practised, construction and assemblage were explored, using found objects, which also raised the issues of materials and space, with the interplay of senses. The displacement of space by exploration of new intentional forms by modernist artists created a new reality and sculptures(Kelly, 2004). Sculptors explored assemblage, open form sculptures and the interplay of sculpture, with space,senses and industrial materials. For instance, Julio Gonzalez (1876-1942) was the first artist toexplore open form sculptures using welding as a new industrial technique for sculpture. He first collaborated with Picasso to explore welding sculptures for the cubist artist. It was not until 1928,according to Hilton (2012), that he began to produce the open form icon constructions thatradically altered the course of 20th-century sculpture. Assemblage involves the inclusion of discarded materials and solid found objects, to create sculptures that are for aesthetic perception. Some artists explored assemblage, chance and happenings, which involved natural forces such as wind and air in their sculptures. For example, Alexander Calder created Mobiles that portrays the idea of happening and chance based on natural phenomenon. These artists in the 19thand 20thcenturies, wanted to understand some ideas and issues in practice within their cultural context, as an expression of aesthetic perception, which was not defined as metaphor. Sculpture was explored systematically in pursuit of meaning to generate new knowledge and understanding for aesthetic perception. Sculpture exploration, in response to aesthetic issues in modernism transformed in the 20th century to embody immaterial idea. The innovation influenced conceptual and performance art movements and redefined the boundaries of art to involve not only the physical object, but ideas and action (Cernuschi, 2009). Also, Postmodernism rejected theories of Modern art on aestheticssuch as the idea that,people are to appreciate art for form sake without attaching any function. Park (2013) states
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that,“instead of a deluge of various-isms, there came about an exploration of various forms and methods. Most of these fall under the category of postmodernism including genre mixes, installation art, technology-based art and the combination of commercial and fine art.” Conceptual art and the rejection by Postmodernism, of what had come to be art, had earlier echoed in a similar anti-art movement decades earlier called Dadaism, typically symbolized by Marcel Duchamp’s readymade. The idea behind the work became an issue that was considered instead of aesthetic perception. To demonstrate that meaning is not in the inner structure of objects but constructed outside it, he associated readymade object of everyday use to art by displaying a urinary, as art, in an exhibition. Since then, sculpture has gone beyond creation of physical objects meant only for aesthetic appreciation. Thus McEvilley (1999) asserts that Since Duchamp, anything can be rendered as sculpture, by designating it as such, and in the post-modern perspective, a sculpture is just a „thing‟; it doesn’t even need material or solidity but can be immaterial „thing‟; Yet sculpture for the last generation or two has been dominated by the readymade more than other models or influences put together. The creative exploration of readymade, in any form and medium, formerly not regarded in modernism, is considered as sculpture in postmodernism. Hence, contemporary postmodernist idea of art, embody limitless possibilities for exploration within the flexibility of practice. It hasbroadened and enriched the field of sculpture by making sculpture autonomous from aesthetics, which resulted inthe creation of new forms in sculpture such as earth art practiced by Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, and Walter De Maria, that used bulldozer to create sculpture.The practice of sculpture became more varied with an emphasis on the individual‟s everyday experience. Instead of depending on modernism conventions to explore sculpture, there have been various forms and methods of explorations that fall under
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Postmodernism. This creates the opportunity that the researcher has taken to recreate form through exploration by using ‘readymade food vessels’. In art practice, readymade art is a term coined by Marcel Duchamp to apply to his work. Readymade is the work of art, which the artist designates as art. It is the demonstration of a principle that, artistic creation depends neither on established rules, nor on manual craft (Getlein, 2002; Jason and Jason 2006). The creation and use of food vessels in the history of man can be traced back to ancient times,when food was gathered and consumed by families at the place it was found. Nature provided gourds, shells, and leaves for use, where containers were needed. Later, readymade containers were made from hollowed logs, woven grasses, and animal organs (Berger and Welt, 2014). The desire to create for function and beauty, may have determined the form and shape of the objects. It could have resulted into ‘readymade food vessels’ that were explored to meet the needs of storage for the modern man. The discussionof „readymade food vessels‟ will be incomplete without a brief reference to potteries which marked the beginning of making food vessels in human life. Duriez (2014); Speight and Toki (2006) hold that potteries and basket, first appeared in 6000 B.C. Speight and Toki maintains that since the last ice age humans have used the malleable quality of clay to express their deepest emotion. Ajayi (1987) posits that Pottery forms, such as cups, plates, pots, symbolise the most fundamental of human exploration and expression, which portrays creative exploration and effort in the history of man’s activities. He maintains that pottery symbolised important progress in the history of man, to create form of objects. Thus the ancient people may have been the first to include food vessels, with other materials to construct imagery that is removed from any domestic function. Smeets
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(1975) is of the view that, itinerant hunts men, expressed themselves in naturalistic imagery and ornament. He says that, the oldest forms of imagery was the beaded necklace and small seashells strung together in a beautiful pattern. In Nigeria, some ethnic groups such as Igbo Ukwu constructed bronze pottery wares that served as symbolic cultural objects.Kleiner and Mamiya (2005) explain that, among some dozens of refined objects excavated in a family compound at Igbo Ukwu communityare basins, bowls and knives. It signifies that at Igbo Ukwu bronze food vessels are symbolic objects which were used to reflect status symbol and paraphernalia of African leadership. Over the centuries, development in other aspects of human civilization, may have caused exploration in paper as ‘readymade food vessels’. It was first used by the Chinese to wrap food as early as the first or second century B.C (Hook and Heimlich, 2014). It later gave way to the invention of other ‘readymade food vessels’. Glass served as one of the ‘readymade food vessels’ integrated into packaging food. Berger and Welt (2014) posits that the Egyptians were the first to use glass containers at around 1500 B.C. and that glass making began around 1700 B.C. Today, glass is still being used as utilitarian ‘readymade food vessels’ and for the creation of sculpture. The discovery of iron – ore, led to the development of tin plating which was usedin the making of ‘readymade food vessels’ during the industrial revolution. Busch (1981) holds that, tin plating began in Bohemia in the Middle Ages and that tinplate was first marketed officially in England in 1930. She maintains that today, tin can is a symbol of American wastefulness, but that it meant much more. Apart from tin can, aluminium contributed to new ways of packaging beverages. The beverage cans are so difficult to avoid that in 1969 an estimated
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1,809 million cans that littered along USA roads were beverage cans (Bingham and Mulligan, in Busch1981). In the 20th century, plastic, one of the materials used for domestic and commercial purposes, was developed to free manufacturers from limitations of nature. Today, the plastic materials are used for food preservation and packaging with some interest in recycling it. Connecticut Plastic Learning Centre (2014) explains that, there is an emphasis on the increasing uses of recycled products, including plastics. Janson and Janson (2006) and Getlein (2002) explain that Pop Art began in London, in the mid-1950s by the independent groups and intellectuals. They viewed commercial culture such as packaging, home appliances, and other commodities, as visual materials in the mundane, mass-produced objects and images of America’s popular culture. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) used some of these materials in creating ironic commentaries about modern society. He made the viewer to consider aesthetic qualities of everyday images, such as soup cans, that they readily overlooked. Apart from Andy Warhol, the other Pop artists are Jasper Jones, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. Perception and intellect are issues they engaged in to enlighten the viewer. They reduced simple mass produced objects of utilitywithout subjecting them to realism for the purpose of the intellect and perception. Their art possess intellectual attributes, which visually teach and instruct the viewer on proper livingconditions. The exploration by Pop artist with mass produced objects of popular culture addressedthe intellect and sense of the viewer on consumerism thus creating further possibilities for this researcher to explore the creation of visual metaphorin sculpture. This is in agreement with Higgs in Knowles and Cole (2008)who contend that “art, as creative acts, provides a perfect opportunity to create new
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metaphorical models, to illustrate the subject in question under study”. Higgs maintains that the process of making art can nurture the intellectual flame that pushes the inquiry mind into quest for new knowledge. In the recent contemporary art practice, some artists whose installations art are made of ‘readymade food vessels’ or constructed ones are; Michal Yaffe’s, Myranda Blair’s, KainebOsahenye.In Nigeria, discarded ‘readymade food vessels’ appear in the form of plates, bottles, containers and spoon. They are used for domestic and public functions. Today, some of the readymade food vessels made in paper, plastic, and aluminium, litter Nigerian environment as discarded items, in private and public garbage bins. In Nigeria, the discarded „readymade food vessels‟ although being ugly spectacles,call for aesthetic attentions, in addition to ecological and archaeological attention. It is in the light of all these that, this study, in order to generate a visual metaphor in sculpture that is not dependent on ideas only, emphasise visual form, aesthetic and concept.
1.3Statement of the Problem Since the introduction of modern sculpture in the 19th century, exploration of form in sculptureto create unique and original sculptures for aesthetic appreciation has been an issue. The changes that may have occurred in Duchamp’s questioning of modernism with his ‘readymade’, began to reflect in postmodern art. The influence of this development reflected in sculpture, which significantly showed that ideas are more important than creation of form and art objects foraesthetic perception. The dichotomy between exploration of form in sculpture for aesthetic perception and art of idea, are issues that engage the sculptor today. For example, since after Duchamp, anything can become sculpture by the artist‟s choice.It is therefore, neither a surprise nor out of place for the study to portray form-embedded
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sculpture, instead of the idea alone. It is because of this that the inclusion of aesthetic, into conceptual art instead of exploring idea only for sculpture expression is preferred in this study. Modernism and postmodernist sculptors, explored forms and idea respectively, though not defining it as a metaphor. In 1999 some contemporary artists in China used a particular metaphor „Food for Thought‟ for installation art to create conceptual art and materiality without emphasising the exploration of aesthetics in sculpture as a problem. They may have failed to incorporate aesthetics with the metaphor, because the idea is considered more important than perception. This poses a problem to re-examine the inclusion of aesthetic in conceptual sculptures, which emphasises the creation of idea in art. It therefore, follows that, some created conceptual art works of recent, are now being criticised because of absence of form and aesthetics. In this context, there arises a need for an expansive view ofvisual metaphorin sculpture beyond limiting it to form or idea alone. The above opinion raises the need for the inclusion of form to create aesthetic quality in idea emphasised sculpture. It is significant in the standpoint of Langer in Hurwitz and Day (2007), that feelings are adequately expressed only through the arts, since verbal language is inadequate for the expression of life feelings, which all human beings share. In Nigeria, the challenge of phenomenon of hunger, is not adequately expressed by verbalmetaphor. The use of verbal metaphor to express phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria is inadequatebecause it addresses only the mind and imagination, whereas visual metaphor has alternative groundings for an ability to make meaning based on sight and experiences.The problem of this study therefore, is that verbal metaphor does not address the issue of phenomenon of hunger in Nigeria in concrete forms.
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1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study The aim of the study is to create visual metaphorin sculpture, through an exploration with ‘readymade food vessels’. The objectives of this study are to: i. create a sculpture installation from ‘readymade food vessels’. ii. use food vessel as multiple media that integrate visual balance, in making meaning of events, iii. usethe metaphor ‘food for thought’ in producing sculptures with „readymade foodvessels‟. iv. createsculptures derived from metaphorical exploration of the phenomenon of hunger. v. createa site specific sculpture installation of hunger that emphasise idea and form.
1.5 Justification for the Study The sculptor has always created form in sculpture which mirrors the society’s values, heritage, moral and truth. Since the days of Winckelmann and Herder, philosophers have continually pondered about the significance of art (Langer, 1979). Thus, art faced some issues of significance, because of its representation of ideas and objects. Rathus (2010) positsthat, art is elusive, serves no function, and it exists for art sake, or goes beyond human understanding, thussupportingthe argument of the philosophers. The study is justified therefore, by its attempt to transform metaphorinto visual forms using ‘readymade food vessels’ in order to respond and possibly add to already existing evidence that art involves intellectual and aesthetics significance.
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In Nigeria,the exploration of sculptures is inspiredby physical objectswhich formed the subject matters. Often timescriticism of such works thatare derived from physical object emphasise aesthetic appreciation only. It is because of this that, it becomes necessary to carry out this study that transforms verbal metaphor into visual form using ‘readymade food vessel’ to create meaning which embody idea and aesthetic.
1.6Significance of the Study The materials and methods used in this study may inspire students of Fine Arts in higher institutions, to explore verbal metaphors in sculpture. This is because, Nigeria being a country blessed with several ethnic groups, that are equally endowed culturally has idioms and proverbs to be explored. It is hoped that the findings of this study will serve as research material which contributesto the scarce literature in this area of the study. In this way the study gives insight to other researchers who have interest in carrying out study involving metaphor form. Metaphor has some aesthetic qualities that enable a listener involved in conversation to understand the idea of the speaker. It is hoped that, the findings of this study in visual metaphorical exploration of forms in sculpture, lead to a better understanding of artistic forms in Nigeria. This becomes necessary, because this study gives insight to some of the non-artists who see sculpture as production of mere objects that cannot generate knowledge. Thisstudy is also significant because it shows thatvisual metaphor in sculpture, like other metaphorical art expressions, has the potency and content capacity to create knowledge about human condition in Nigeria, using different forms and materials. Museums and Galleries also benefit from the findings of this study, because it givesinsight on how exploration of form in sculpture can be derived from metaphor.
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It therefore,assists such institutions during workshops, which encourage artists to explore metaphorical forms using indigenous metaphors and proverbs.
1.7Scope and Delimitation of the Study There are about ten metaphors that are used to discuss the issues of food, welfare, experiences and human endeavours. They are Apple of my eyes, Egg someone on, Selling like hotcakes, Take it with a grain of salt, A piece of cake, „Food for Thought‟, Red herring, Sowing wild oats, Bring home the bacon, and Born with silver spoon in your mouth. However, the scope of this study is restricted to the exploration of the metaphor ‘Food for Thought’ using plastic ‘readymadefood vessels‟. Other types of metaphors and materials are beyond the scope of this study. The ‘food for thought’ metaphor explored in this study is the one that is used to create sculpture installationsthat evoke the phenomenon of hunger and welfare in Nigeria.
1.8Conceptual and Theoretical Framework There is an artist and three philosophers whose ideas and theories on art form and value of what should be considered as art, that constitute the conceptual and theoretical framework of this study. The artist is Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), while the philosophers are Susanne Katherine Langer (1895-1985), Rudolf Anaheim (1904-2007) and Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich (1909-2001). Theirtheories which, centred on form, intellect, emotion and metaphor, help the researcher to metaphorically explore form in sculpture that embodies idea and aesthetics. The concept that, idea is more important than the form that realized it, is indebted to Marcel Duchamp, for its propagation through his readymade art. Readymade, according to Duchamp in Sigmon(2009), are ordinary industry manufactured
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objects that, can be transformed into art, through the decision of the artist. He suggested that, appearances of everyday objects constitute reality, not some higher spiritual code, supposedly hidden inside them. The researcher adopted his idea to explore visual metaphorsin sculpture, in order to create meanings thatcomplement the physical forms created. Duchamp maintained that, art should be created for the intellect. This idea helped the researcher, in the formulation of the research methodology, because through research, the underpinning of metaphor, with ‘readymade food vessels’ was realised as art which involve mental processes. The challenge of this researcher in formulating methodology from Duchamp’s idea, is the exclusion of aesthetics and material process of art that he suggested. The researcher adds to this particular Duchamp’s idea, to include aesthetics, by creating metaphoric form, realized through process and technique of assemblage, using ‘readymade food vessels’. The ‘readymade food vessels’ are either distorted, or are allowed to maintain some appearance of their original commodity, in the process of exploring metaphorical form, that the researcher, like Duchamp, declares as art. The theory of phenomenological description of feeling and form by Langer, (1895-1985), focused on how concrete art forms exemplify forms of feeling and the work they do, in such ways, that one understands them in terms of symbolic form as she believes,that every entity has form. Langer, in Innis (2009), explains that, wherever there is form, there is meaning. Innis (2009) states that Langer reduced meaning to the level of perception, understood as primary articulation.She maintains that perceptual forms are potentially symbolic structures, which give one access to the objects that are themselves forms and symbolic structures. The researcher usesLanger’s phenomenological theory that, perception and pattern-forming were cognate,to find meaning deliberately,
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rather than, finding them unconsciously. This is in order that, the metaphorical forms created have some intellectual dimension, when perceived. Through this theory of feelings and symbolic form, the researcher develops forms from verbal metaphors used in Nigeria, to discuss issue of phenomenon of hunger. It enables the researcher to consider how theory and practice construct meaning from transfer of metaphor to metaphorical formwithin the context of sculpture. This depends on combinations afforded by the metaphor, from which the metaphorical forms are formed, whichDeleuze in Carter (2004) calls, artistic machine performing its operations through cycles of dissipation and gathering. He maintained that it is only when the significant contents and ideal significations have collapsed and given way to multiplicity of meaningsand to chaos, that the work of art assumes its full meaning, Langer’s theory seems to be confirmed by the works of Rudolf Arnhiem (1904-2007) and Gombrich (1909-2001) which this study will also rely on to develop a conceptual and theoretical framework. Arnheim’s (1904-2007) theory on intelligence of visual perception, questioned how there can be intelligence in perception. He argued that The cognitive operations called thinking, are not the privilege of mental processes above and beyond perception, but the essential ingredients of perception itself. I am referring to such operations as active exploration, selection, grasping of essentials, simplification, correction, comparison, problem solving, as well as, combing, separating, putting in context. This study adopts this theory, to bring aesthetic into conceptual sculptures. The use of this theory helps the researcher, to combine some of the qualities such as; exploration, selection, problem solving, simplification, grasping and putting in context that Arnheim mentioned, in order to explorevisual metaphor in sculpture. He maintained that no thought processes seems to exist, that,cannot be found at
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least in principle, in perception. This theory will enable the researcher to have a meaningful knowledge, of verbal metaphor and their function in everyday social Nigerian life.To recognize them as meaningful, in that sense, will help the researcher to experience them, in an aesthetic way. The theory of visual metaphor of value, in which artistic experiences present to the human mind, the highest values, including moral values is discussed by Gombrich. Gombrich (1909-2001) explains that, the possibility of metaphor, springs from the infinite elasticity of the human mind; it testifies to its capacity to perceive and assimilate new experiences as modifications of earlier ones, of finding equivalences in the most desperate phenomenon and substituting one for another. He maintained that, without this constant process of substitution, neither language nor art, nor indeed civilized life, would be possible. It is against this background that this study, considers how visual quality may be experienced, as equivalent or substitute of the verbal metaphor that is used to discuss phenomenon of hunger in sculpture. Metaphor of daily speech, borrowing from Gombrich’s theory, provides “the bases for this exploration, especially the ones that can be transferred from the sense of speech to visual. All these theories articulated will guide the processes of this study, which involves the transference of metaphor, in the cognitive and objective domain, to the subjective and affective domain.
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