Jay Song is a multidisciplinary artist, whose artworks range from large installations to functional furniture. He graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2018, completing his Batchelor of Fine Arts with Honours in Sculpture under the tutelage of Lucy Bleach and Sarah Stubbs.
Light Play 2020
By Elissa Ritson
With the intensity of the voyeur they hungrily watch.
From their own toes, to clods of earth in the garden, to dogs’ tails, to lost keys; they know everything through their mouths
first if allowed to.
The Onlooker is observing new ways to play. Props and scenes that are fantastic will become familiar, safe, and well practised. Until then, it is enough stimulation to watch. The Onlooker isn’t ready for the social theatre of participation. They haven’t learned the language yet. They would fumble with the lines and blocking. They stare until they become The Solitaire: playing alone.
Children come to know themselves through both observing and interacting with others.
One moves closer to The Other. Being their understudy. They learn the names for feelings, and then they learn the choreography. They are parallel in their discoveries, but do not engage.
Centre stage: Two Associates take turns with each other. They dress up. They use voices. They know the lines and blocking. The script is on hand if they fumble. The movements and crescendos become familiar and the connection to their roles deepens.
The script is on the floor. The Co-Operative negotiates the
construction of each scene from the inside out. Character
becomes imperative. Roles are swapped with a glance, or by speaking a name. Boundaries are laid, and laid again.
Play is a space where ‘sticky learning’ takes place: functional and transferable learning of underlying mechanics, rather than surface level information. The self-rewarding system of dopamine production encourages repetition, forming new neural pathways. Pleasure literally changes the brain as imagination surpasses the limits of knowledge.
Their command of their tools, and their engagement with their craft allows them to explore new characters. They join group
productions. They trust themselves to make improvisational choices as well as running their own familiar scenes.
Sometimes they still play alone.
Jay has created a range of stoneware lamps for The Henry Jones Art Hotel, which compliment the historic sandstone walls in texture and speak of our beautiful mountainous landscape.
Sometimes in life a pause is needed. As a maker, the lamps are product of needing to pause. In a time of stress, I roll out a sheet of clay and without prior design consideration, start shaping, wrapping, tearing, manipulating and hole-punching the material to become a simple form. The intuitive process of turning the sheets of clay into lights is a way to celebrate the simple materiality of the earth, while also inviting the viewer to share my process, finding warmth, security and serenity in the light’s glow.