Up Against It

This piece explores the complex relationship between feminine beauty, making, work and feminine power.  It works with a figure from my own mythology that emerged as an image in a dream. 

It presents an unconventional beauty pressing her breast against a brick wall as she reaches forwards in an exaggerated gesture.  Her boundary is only in front of her; there is no brick wall behind her. 

The body of the woman is a solid piece of clay:  the brick wall is built around her.  Surface decoration is with contrasting matt and gloss slips and glazes.  In particular, the white slip and pink glaze wash on her body accentuate the texture in her skin as they shrink and crack during firing.  Her ‘makeup and nails’ are coloured gloss glazes.

These materials all develop when fired to 1260°C.  She is an object that has emerged from my lived experience but, more widely, queries boundaries of work within which the feminine operates.  A solid form, raw, cracked and imperfect, fixed in a gesture that reaches forward.

Wisdom

My latest piece has been a long time in making.  The finishing of wisdom is, as one might expect, a slow process!  But in all seriousness, the qualities in this ancient moustachioed man really touches something about the nature of wisdom.

This piece explores the societal expectations that accompany traditions of knowledge and wisdom.

It presents the archetype of a single man, supporting his head with his dominant hand. The head and the mouth are hollow vessels, containing and expressing infinite knowledge. The moustache, in the form of a generous blue bow on an enlarged white glazed mouth, is a symbol of male societal traditions in beauty, age and rank.

The figure emerged through the ‘making first’ technique; taking a piece of clay and making without directing thought or expectation. Surface decoration is with contrasting slips and glazes and are fully developed at 1260°C. In particular, the gloss blue and white of the mouth and moustache speak to the large historical catalogue of blue and white ceramics.

A man made by a woman is a significant: it refers more widely to a movement towards healing and wholeness that is central to my practice.

Figurehead: girl

‘Figurehead: Girl’ is a piece connected with with ships figureheads and the concepts of youth, beauty, function and feminine power.

The figure emerged through the ‘making first’ technique; taking a piece of clay and making without directing thought or expectation.  Surface decoration is with a very light porcelain pink glaze that travels across the surface of the clay during firing to produce a toasted look.  The glaze is fully developed at 1260°C.  Her gaze is at the far distance.  The head is a solid piece of ceramic and sits on a brass disc, supported by a solid wax plinth which is itself supported by a copper disc.  All of these materials are connected with square riggers and ships figureheads.  

She is an expression of the youthful feminine.