Victoria Shaw

Society has a formula it follows in which almost everything needs to be quantified. If it is measured you can determine what it is and its value. Everything is given a unit or a scale which we look at and use to formulate opinions. My practice has recently flipped from measuring the human body to measuring time and how my body resides within it. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic there is a sense of a loss of time, with a lack of structure. I fell into cycles and a constant feeling that every day is a Sunday, completely losing a sense of time, and my position within this matrix of society we currently reside in. The feeling that I am just existing. How do we measure time though? With a clock? With our activities, our jobs? Does time give value when proper exercised.

This lead me to a need to quantify time with creating in a remedial like manner. I have been pulled into the comfort of repetitive making with the form of origami becoming my motif, for me the practice of making origami is a therapeutic one, using these as a unit of time. Measuring how
many I make within a studio sitting, how many it takes to cover my desk or how many it takes for me to feel calm. The process providing much needed stability and a sense of productivity, with more than just existing within time and space, I am monitoring it.

My preferred practice has always revolved around paper, origami being one of them. Origami is a traditional form of making from 6th century Japan, I was naturally drawn towards the form of peace cranes. A symbol of good fortune, they are surrounded by legend, where it is believed if you
fold 1000 your wish will come true, which has also led it to being symbolic of hope through difficult times. During the current pandemic I feel it is very prominent and necessary, therefore the ideal motif for me to focus on it. With the goal of creating 1000 driving me forward.

Spending thousands of minutes folding cranes in my makeshift studio provides plentiful time to contemplate, with folding almost turning into mindless muscle memory. It has provided the opportunity to look at myself in retrospect to my studio that I have confined myself within when
making. Looking at my position in this space and how it evolves and changes throughout my making progress, with the mountain of birds growing vaster daily. Measuring this space with my own body, similar to a tape measure I previously focused on. Seeing how many footsteps filled
the space and arm lengths when the folding had numbed my hands and there was a need to step back. Additionally with the abundance of peace cranes, I had folded, I started to measure my space using them as a tool too, as well as for time, running them across my floor. Defining my studio and my position within it, along with where my peace cranes sit in importance of this too.

Instagram: @vicky_shaw_art