In the valuable sessions with Theo Humphries, we looked at my ethos as a maker.
We unpicked, simplified and made it more punchy.
I’m a ceramic gardener.
By this I mean that I work with clay as a living medium to grow ceramic forms. These forms are nourished by fertile interactions and are cultivated by my practice.
Employing the metaphor of a gardener is important to me because it enables me to forefront the unpredictable and vital dimensions of clay as a material.
I’m a ceramic gardener who works with clay as a living medium, to grow shapes and forms arising from fertile interaction and cultivation.
To interact is to exist. (I could expand on this too.)
Scaling down to the form of garden is to simplify the world into the human scale and experiment with it, seeing it through different angles.
extras – (I’m inspired by Japanese rock garden who’s pivotal points are inorganic rocks emerging from within rubble, representing movement of the sea and islands of life. … Modernist sculpture and abstract expressionism looking at the essences of form, space, interaction and the materials.)
A week of site specific building, challenging my skills and technique for hand building.
Organising and invigilating an exhibition as part of a local, contemporary arts festival.
We had an amazing opportunity, a seed planted by Natasha’s interaction with Made in Roath and Potclays, to participate at this year’s festival of local arts – Made in Roath.
My work from last year fitted best in the staircase area, not only due to not fitting in the cabinets, but the transitory nature of the space.
At the end I decided to build in there too due to the space being more outdoor than indoor, or something in between, and a space that needed some cultivation.
A small gap next to the stairs was really the only safe, unused space to build on, after clearing some stuff away. I kept a small table without the top in there, to give me some instant hight to the build as well as a shape, a seedling to start with. The shape was really influenced by the awkward space and an object already present. As it creeped through the site, it changed; adapted and explored the environment with the maker and the viewer.
We haven’t had many visitors over the week, and due to the awkward position of my live build and small sculptures, many people missed it.
However, when I was building there I could welcome straight away all the visitors coming, the kids loved how the live build looked like a horse, and few of my small sculptures/glaze test pieces have been stolen (I’m taking it as a compliment).
Two internationally important shows provided me with context for the start.
One ceramic orientated, the other one focused on modern international art helped me position myself between these two and bring plenty of inspirations.
Hands on volunteering, helping create papier-mâché and UV reactive rocks for Jennifer Taylor’s twilight sci-fi landscape used for her theatrical performances.
Replying to alluring email from G39 about volunteering opportunity, Morgan and I appeared in a fun and dynamic workshops creating masses of light rocks using cardboard, bubble-wrap and covering them with PVA and tissue paper. These were then covered in carpet glue so that the Daz washing powder would stick on them making them reactive to the UV light as part of multimedia ‘Silent Beach’ exhibition and performance.
We’ve soon been allocated to help with covering a large wooden skeleton with chicken wire and stuffing it with some waste paper so to create the base for small grotto, or large hollowed rock for performers to emerge from.
This encounter was so good not just by discovering the work of Jennifer Taylor who is essentially being birthed by inorganic rocks, basically rendering them alive, but by sculpting a landscape using completely different materials and techniques than I would use normally.
I realised how extremely important it is not to be stuck in clay when exploring ideas and philosophies, that are not just about the material.
In some cases I could scale up and explore ideas without extreme effort and time spend nurturing the clay; incorporating other materials in final installation as a narrative support for objects in clay. Performance could also be an important aspect in activating the installation and objects within, rendering them more alive, or dead.