Artist Statement (download as .doc)
“Space that has been seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space…” 1
My ceramics is comprised of two very different,
yet related, bodies of work. One group of work consists of clay vessels that
were thrown on the potter’s wheel, then further manipulated off the wheel
and, finally, fired in a residual salt-vapor reduction atmosphere to cone 1
(approximately 2100 degrees F.). The second body of work is a series of clay
paintings that are composed of unfired clay (which has been stabilized with
acrylic or oil binders) and a variety of other materials that have been applied
to wood panels. In these pieces, images are slowly built up using clay and other
materials such as oil and acrylic paints, enamels, graphite, powdered pigments,
wax and gold leaf.
The vessels are intended to evoke a sense of timelessness, stability and ease. Their forms and surfaces are inspired simultaneously by early Neolithic storage vessels and the natural world. There is for me a curious intersection between the enduring, seemingly timeless character of those early vessels and the fleeting, yet wonderful, impermanence of phenomena in the natural world. The relationships between scale and form in the work are an effort to accentuate the sense of quiet presence.
The paintings attempt to evoke qualities similar to the vessels, while at the same time trying to gently entice the viewer into the inner landscapes and interior spaces of our imagination and memory. To this end, the sense of perceptual space defined by the marks, textures and images is purposely ambiguous and the references are often topographic or cosmographic.
While I often use a number of different materials in my work, clay is the material that most informs the things that I make. Having worked with clay, in a variety of forms and formats and in all its varied physical states for close to thirty years now, I find that the elemental character and expressive potential of clay continues to intrigue me. There seems to be a vital, persistent, almost universal, appeal to clay, which is like no other material.
1. The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard, pg. xxxii.