About 12 years ago, i finished my degree in interior design at chelsea college of art & design (God, Im old!!). I think I should have chosen sculpture or textile design...but what did i know at the age of 18 - what i was going to do with my life, what path to follow...i digress... one of my tutors there - Peter Stickland - wrote this great essay - which has always stuck in my mind and which i kept until today. I would like to quote a little from the section that talks about Narrative, Sequence and Memory - (with regards to interior architecture)...


"We will return to making the user of buildings the focus of our attention and regard their walk through interior architecture as an event, a subtle engaging journey of change and celebration. The event is carried by a narrative and it is not essential for the designer to declare what that narrative is. It could be fanciful, describe the function of the building or be descriptive of a social reasoning. We do not need to choose a story on the basis that it can be decoded by the visitor, for the story is converted into the material of the architecture and it is this which picks up and carries the narrative. This concept is similar to Hitchcock's notion of the 'MacGuffin' , which is a concept responsible only for starting the narrative and in some manner containing it. The 'MacGuffin' was Hitchcock's term for an 'apparent narrative excuse', which is, he claimed, ' absolutely necessary but completely unimportant.' He never began a film without one."


Sorry if that was a little heavy for a Monday night...but i have been thinking recently how i use my 'MacGuffin' in my artwork. Whether its a painting or a sculpture, it seems i nearly always have a 'MacGuffin'. If i dont, then in my eyes, the piece doesnt work...its meaningless...there has to be a story..some kind of journey...


Shelly, on the other hand, changes her 'MacGuffin' as she feels!...

Do you any of you use a 'MacGuffin'?

9 Comments:

  1. Wendy said...
    If you are "old" what does that make me. I have to admit I'm not sure I understand the essay :o( but I do know i love shally's drawing. Very smiley :o)
    Wendy said...
    Sorry I meant Shelly not Shally.
    lisa s said...
    ok - i love this idea of macguffin... how did i not already know about it??

    thank you for sharing!!
    stephanie s said...
    wonderful - just plain wonderful...
    maditi said...
    Shelly´s painting makes me smile!!
    yes, beautiful idea, will re-read it again to truely understand ;)
    simple me said...
    Not quite sure if I understood...I visualise this concept like a stream that is absolutely essential to carry the boat but absolutely unimportant to the fact that what we want is to reach the riverbank.
    So according to this there is, in the creative process, a concept (or something vague I cannot actually identify in words) which sustain the ideas that will eventually lead to the final result. Without it the project is nothing more that mere scattered ideas with no connecting string.
    If my understanding is right then I have to say that I pretty much work in that way...I cannot see any other way than to have some ground where I can stand and from there start building in some direction.
    Now I'm not sure if I only have one MacGuffin...I would rather say that I have as many different MacGuffins as I have projects. For each project is unique.
    But I may have missed the whole thing completely (I must say that I don't find this concept easy) in which case I may be completely wrong...
    Wonderful drawing by Shelly who doesn't know much about Mr. MacGuffin and is happy with it.
    gracia said...
    Hi Julie,
    All 'MacGuffins' aside, I'm a huge Hitchcock fan...
    I'll be thinking all evening now of 'MacGuffins' in my life.
    see you, gracia
    Anonymous said...
    I will have to reread it too but I will be thinking about it. Still a big fan of Shelly's work...
    x Marieke
    julie said...
    Ok...a little confusing..sorry for those who English is not their mother tongue!

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