Ceramic residency at La Pedrix, France

Undergoing immersive week extending my skills in sculpting, hand building, collaborating, performing and story telling.


Learning how to reclaim dry blocks of clay with no plaster, and in limited time was quite challenging. Arising to smashing the clay into almost powder with heavy tools, and after saturating it with limited amounts of water, building arches to let the sloppy clay dry.
However, accustoming myself with this new, locally dug clay was easier. I really enjoyed its unique colour as well as the groggy and rather sticky texture, even though it did not record the texture of my hand, which I normally try to keep.

Set with the task of creating a kiln based on a country and its stories/folklore, I started drafting ideas and searching for stories in Slovak/Slavic mythologies. I came up with some designs based on ‘Morena’ – goddess of Winter whose effigy is burned and thrown into a stream to welcome the Spring. However, its basic story didn’t really interest me, with obvious but messy symbolisms such as female fertility, rebirth, coldness, evil and beauty, burning witches, etc.

I was wondering, that there must be a folk story for every fairy common creature and natural phenomena, over the many years and geographies of human existence.
My first search trial was snails, as I like them and could relate to their slow and quiet exploration of the world.
Within Christian traditions they are perceived as evil, symbols of the deadly sin of sloth, laziness and apathy.
However, in Aztec stories snail is representing the moon, its shell the cycles of moon and is considered humble and respectful. Moreover, it has very interesting and different back story to the moon’s creation. I was instantly captured, and felt I could retell the story to others, with the kiln supporting the theatrical presentation perfectly.

 

I sketched multiple designs of snail like object with circular features representing the moon. At the end I stayed with fairy simple in detail but still challenging enough shape for me.

I felt I could really develop my aesthetics in hand building and sculpting, experimenting with this semi abstract form with emphasis on empty space and more organic, uneven surface. The red slip allowed me to separate the circle – moon and shell from the base, whilst white slip brushes added a bit more movement and clay dots another voids.

 

 

As a side project we had to construct a stackable camping set, but missing a collaborative element in the residency, I teamed up with Morgan. To allow us to focus on our kilns and produce something good in such a short time, we stripped down the stackable element to the basic and pumped up the fun element. Our fun ‘Camp’-ing Picknic Set included one big serving/salad bowl with decoration imitating weaved basket, and limp wristed hands as handles. Inside the bowl could fit: 2 smaller and 2 bigger plates with penis pattern decoration and illustrations of me and Morgan; 2 high heel leg wine glasses; double bum bowl, and 2 sets of cutlery in shape of hands, penises and lips with lipstick.

 

 

Exploring France through the few trip we had was a rich experience.
With very camp and opulent, gilded Italian tea set from a car boot sale, giving us more inspirations for the Camp Camping Set and its decoration that awaited.
The cliff-side town with a whole church cut into the rockside, and small well shrines in a potter’s studio was a captivating example of slow growth and transformation: through inorganic – chiseling out the pillars, walls and features of the church, or waters eroding voids and channels into the rock; to organic – moss and mold growing on the faces of rock walls from the trickling of water and moisture present, and various plants finding any sunny surfaces to plant their roots.
It was fun to find many snails, some in crazy, almost surreal forms, in various art and souvenir shops.

 

 

 

Penguin mugs, Grayson Perry and Douglas Coupland

Appropriation of Penguin Books’ design and its symbolical use within art.


The distinctive, horizontal blocks of colour and text within as a cover design of Penguin’s paperbacks, proved so iconic that its appropriation on a simple utilitarian ceramic mug became highly popular merchandise.

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In Grayson’s Perry “The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal” (2012), a monumental piece of tapestry from his series, he is using these mugs as a social class symbol, and the movement through classes.
“On the table is a still life demonstrating the cultural bounty of his affluent lifestyle”. Together with the French press, car keys with Damien Hirst like skull keychain, local organic jam, fresh vegetables on the Guardian newspapers or the raw wood table they are all placed on, they are the symbols, the style-creators of aspirational middle classes.
They represent an aspiration for wealth of knowledge as well as monetary wealth, success and domestic nostalgia.

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Douglas Coupland is another artist, and novelist appropriating the Penguin Books in his collages, and text based visual art, blurring the boundaries of art and literature.

This collage of “Jet Boy Jet Girl”, a song name stuck as vinyl stencils onto Penguin Book titles such as “Two Adolescents” by Alberto Moravia.
The punk song by Elton Motello about 15 years old boy’s lust and sexual relationship with an older man adds another complexity to the bluring of bounderies.

The ‘correct’ place for people within their social class or sexuality is challenged, and the nature and freedom of movement between them explored.

If I want it or not, appropriating the Penguin Books or the Penguin Donkey in my work will have significant impact on the context it carries.


https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/the-annunciation-of-the-virgin-deal/DgHzNHCbRZyjLw

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/jet-boy-jet-girl/CQHy-8Vm-UsLHg

Katharine Morling

Katharine is UK ceramic artist predominantly working in unglazed porcelain, creating a three dimensional drawing of everyday inanimate objects.


I admire the strip to complete simpleness in Katharine’s work, but still expressing a lively and whimsical illustrative nature, with aspects of positive nature and character of the artist.

Especially with her newer work, archive drawers, collections of found specimens from nature expressing almost childlike fascination with the world.

This work informs my exploration in line through supportive structures of cooling towers and industrial architecture in my Subject, as well as the seams of my Tea for Two textile tea-set.
The ambiguity is especially strong in this collection of peculiar objects, being life size replicas of real objects but stripped down to number of lines and a shape, making us feel uncertain of their full 3D or 2D capabilities; same as my uncertainty in stability and containment.

Continue reading Katharine Morling

Annie Turner

Annie Turner (1958) is British ceramic artist notably known for her gridded ceramic vessels/sculptures.
The hand-build stoneware structures explore the River Deben and surrounding landscape of Suffolk, closely linked to her family roots.
The sculptures reflect the rivers tidal changes and seasonal rhythms by naturally warping and changing in the extreme heats of kiln. 

Net > Enquire  Hand built in red stoneware, white titanium glaze H 58 x W 50 x D 27 cm
Net, Hand built in red stoneware, white titanium glaze H 58 x W 50 x D 27 cm

For me it beautifully represents the time passing relating to physical space, and the stability or rather absence of stability and absence of permanence that time and space dimension brings.

They “echo the forms of its (the River Deben) associated man-made structures, such as sluices, ladders and nets. The surfaces of the works suggest processes of change and transformation, through erosion, decay, rusting, or accretion. The works reflect both the natural rhythms of the landscape and its fragility.”

Gas holder structure
Gas holder in Cardiff

I photographed and looked at photos of decaying and rusty industrial structures. The natural landscape of man’s security and stability through work.
I want to explore the natural landscape of humans, the feeling of stability, security and certainty.

Continue reading Annie Turner

ART is a PARASITE

For our internal collaboration in Field, we were exploring manifestos.
This is my personal manifesto that we were asked to create to express our own attitudes or aspirations as an artist, or what we expect from ourselves or the Art school.


1. ART is a PARASITE

2. it FEEDS on our CREATIVITY

3. it WON’T let us SLEEP

feeds

4. there is ALWAYS CREATIVITY

5. theres is ALWAYS ART

feeds

6. only when our MIND is ALIVE

Field: External Collaboration – Week I

Exploring ideas behind Manifestos and creating our own one, in a group of student from across the whole CSAD.
Stimulating discussion and ideas with Ladybird Books postcards and creating a cake to represent our Manifesto


20160208_120430.jpgAfter an initial introduction to the External Collaboration part of our Field module, we were divided into a groups and handed a pack of postcards depicting book covers of classical children’s books published by Ladybird.
I ended up in a larger group of 6, with interesting and captivating people across the subjects, from Graphics, Fine Art and Illustration.
Choosing a card from the pack individually, depending on how it speaks to us and what ideas we can extract from the images.
I chose my one with the title “Garden Flowers” because I’m simply drawn to plants, have interest in caring for them and filling my living space with life, captured in their limiting plant pots.
However, the ideas that the image represented for me were even more interesting: speaking of a utopian life where the flowers have an abundance of resources, having an organism that takes care of all their needs and diseases. On the other hand, life of no choice, contained in set and limited space, in the mercy of the owner. Utopia is too close to dystopia. These ideas always make me thing of the heaven my parents often talk about. A perfect utopic place of NO sin and suffering; a place of no free will?

In fact almost all of us chose a card depicting nature, or animals; even a card “People at Work: the Postman” seemed to me like a snapshot of a creature in its everyday activities and habitat. This one interested me a lot from others, as it carried ideas around communication and work and how much these aspects of our lives changed in a generation, with the widespread usage of internet, and machines in workplace, etc.

After presenting the chosen cards to each other in the group, we had to chose one that could represented all of us, and present it with ideas arising to the whole class.
My group went with the “Garden Flowers” card I picked, as everyone was vaguely interested in nature, and I could talk about the card in depth, with ideas spreading around utopia-dystopia.


Grotesque inconsistencies – life Continue reading Field: External Collaboration – Week I