I create sculptural assemblages constructed of various ceramic elements and found objects. The intersection of materials: found and handmade forms, with psychological and emotional connections are essential in making my artworks. This past year, I was faced with the reality of loss and mourning with the passing of my brother. My current work allows me to address this loss and heartache by creating and connecting to the moments that have passed. Emotions and the psychology surrounding mortality are exposed and confronted through the action of making.
Clay is a tactile material that offers a fragile result, reflecting life. Throughout our lives we come to the realization that our lives are precious and fleeting, we are not invincible, creating these precarious objects that are vulnerable reflect this. I have always been interested in ideas and rituals involving preservation, so dipping dead birds and crabs into clay slip, firing them, and preserving their physical presence makes sense. In a way, I am stopping the decaying process and paying reverence to these beings. I consider clay to be a metaphor for the body in which I am preserving, the clay takes on the form of these once living beings safeguarding their ashes inside. We have this vessel that is our body, without it we cease to exist, but it is the persons soul and personality that is what we cherish in our memories.
While making this body of work I have been thinking about and conjuring from:
“I have shut my balcony
because I do not want to hear the weeping,
but from behind the grey walls
nothing else is heard but the weeping.
There are very few angels that sing,
there are very few dogs that bark,
a thousand violins fit into the palm of my hand.
But the weeping is an immense dog,
the weeping is an immense angel,
the weeping is an immense violin,
the tears muzzle the wind,
nothing else is heard but the weeping.”
Federico Garcia Lorca – Casida of the Lament
The impermanence and fragility of life raises its head to look directly at us. My work navigates the raw responses to loss and allows the viewer to connect with their sensibilities. Absence, presence and the void between are continually on my mind,leaving an altered reality that is left behind for us to negotiate and navigate with a serious lack of control. Making is easier for me than having the conversation, the gravity of emotion is expressed through this coping mechanism.