“Chimera_ thing that is hoped or wished for but is, in fact, illusionary.”
My ceramic sculptures investigate the tensions between the readymade and the handcrafted object. Sculptures are intensely colored, technically complex, and ornamented cloned assemblages of everyday objects consisting of porcelain, underglaze, glaze, plasti-dip, resin, and wood. I collect mass-produced consumer objects that strike me as iconic of the everyday, such as household tools and fixtures, plastic product and food packaging, toys, ceramic figurines, and food molds. In these industrially produced objects, many of which are cheap, trivial, and disposable, I find unexpected beauties and meanings. Using intricate motifs, I examine widely diverse themes relating to consumer culture such as, magical thinking, animism, ritual, domestic and liturgical objects, artificial nature, and sensory desire. Relying on informed intuition and process, I transform the familiar and trivial into the mythic and fantastical.
A born and bred urbanite, I have always felt separated from the external natural world, instead fascinated by the man-made objects that shape the urban environment. Attending church first evoked my awareness of the personal symbolic meanings invested in objects, and how they can provide emotional sustenance, uncomfortable desires, and physical comfort. My studio practice begins with mining my collections. I examine the form and function of collected objects, reimagining how they might be used, or contemplating how their forms, separated from their function, suggest new ideas. Selected objects are recreated in porcelain, highlighting their mundane, as well as their obscure qualities. I make plaster molds of collected objects, converting them into a minimal shell. Molds are filled with porcelain slip, a myriad of replicas are cast, and then through a process of dismantling, reconstruction and assembling, I create chimerical forms.
As I examine the spaces between the handmade and readymade object, “handedness” becomes an essential element in the work. Sculptures are meticulously layered with extruded clay creating surfaces of bulbous dots, spikes, drips, piping, beads, incised and sgraffito lines, inlay, stipples and pits. The tactile surfaces are used to both accentuate and obscure, encouraging an intimate experience where I pull in the viewer to immerse in sumptuous exteriors and sensual possibilities. This triggers an instinctive desire to touch, to stroke and a sense of dissatisfaction once that action is denied. Children often feel compelled to touch objects, to make meaning out of experiences. I believe the desire for sensory experiences, and feelings of dissatisfaction, mirrors a longing often felt in a consumer society. By transforming mass-produced objects into porcelain, the replicas become more precious, more fragile, and more absurd than the original. Separating objects from their original function I contemplate ideas of authenticity and the inherited symbolism in a form. By bringing the everyday into art and the art into the everyday, sculptures open up a dream-like space of unexpected associations and dislocations.