Phillips, L. G. (2020). Aesthetic experiences of making with paper in The (artist-infused) Corner for under eight year olds. In P. L. Maarhuis, & A.G. Rud, (Eds.) Imagining Dewey: Artful works and dialogue about Art as Experience (pp. 309-322). Rotterdam.
Artists bring heightened awareness of sensation and material qualities in the experience of
making. In this chapter, I portray the sensate experience of making with paper spurred by artists
as embedded living installations in The Corner – a play/making space for under eight year olds in
the State Library of Queensland, Australia. I look closely at the experience of making as inherently
connected to aesthetics (Dewey, 1934); in particular making with paper. Three artists make with
paper on different days. Each bringing different insights of the sensuous qualities and making
capacities of paper.
Paper is malleable.
Paper has memory.
See the creases.
Folding with three hands
Paper leaves, birds, boats, nose and tower.
Children and their families make with the artists. Intense focus is experienced. The unlimited
possibilities of paper come to be known in a library – a place of books – preserved entities made of
paper – yet in The Corner of the library – paper can be reconfigured – is reconfigured – opening
up the wonder of the aesthetic experience of mattering, imagining, and making with paper.
Attention to sensation, matter and making were gathered through sensory ethnography (Pink,
2015), aesthetic sensibilities and understanding of the vibrancy of matter (Bennett, 2010).
Performative accounts of artist making experiences with paper are shared to glean what happens
in the experiences of making; what we come to sense, to know, to be and connect