STICKS AND STONES | TDP GALLERY
MAY 11 - JUNE 17, 2017
Making art can be challenging, so I would like to thank you for supporting artists like myself. It is important, especially in our current climate, to support artists of all genres and types.
This collection of work has been developed throughout the past four years. It was a seminal trip to Japan (in 2014) that gave me the motivation and renewed energy to develop new work in my studio. My trip to Japan should have taught me that “less is more”, but through this process I have learned that I am a “more is more” kind of person. I have tried with this work to create pieces with a contemplative value like the Japanese rock garden. It was my goal to make this work be fun, colorful, and whimsical, yet balanced; something I hoped my three-year-old granddaughter might enjoy.
Throughout my career I’ve made a habit of collecting and keeping postcards to use as inspiration. As I enter my studio, I see the postcards that represent my many influencers. My postcard collection includes: Thomas Hart Benton (the first artist I remember seeing at age seven), Nick Cave, George E Orr, Jay Milder, a German Meissen Vase, a Classic Navajo Third Phase Chief’s Blanket, an image of Venus de Milo, and a poster of a beautiful wood fired Japanese pot.
I’ve made clay vessels that explore the idea of a container as a metaphor. I have investigated issues of utility and ritual, while still expressing my interest in landscape, organic abstraction, cubism, and constructivism. These were addressed in both painterly and sculptural ways while integrating the ideas of sculpture and abstract painting. I use hand-building methods that also incorporate molds as forming tools, in all cases the clay is pushed and stretched exploiting its plastic nature. My vessel forms are comprised of many organically inspired shapes; the parts and pieces I create are built and pieced together to form a greater whole. I am very interested in the painted surface and how the painted surface wraps around a form. These recent works are abstract physical structures, which are colorfully decorated. One piece explores my interest in landscape, for instance one side of a pot is decorated with landscape imagery: a river or stream flows from distant hills, cascading over rocks and crevices as water spills into the viewer’s space. The reverse side is painted with abstract shapes; these shapes are placed like building blocks balancing within the confines of the pot in an effort to redefine the vessels form.
This interpretation of the complex interrelationships between art and nature, surface and form and man's relationship to his environment are significant and for me an attempt to draw a personal understanding of the balances in life. Making pots is the art and craft that celebrates the human spirit; it captures the maker’s touch in a material that like humanity is part of a process of transformation and change.
I want to thank Post University and the Connecticut Commission for the Arts for helping to fund my trip to Japan. Additionally, a genuine thank you to the Five Points Gallery and its staff for this wonderful opportunity to share my work with you.