The exhibition presents different approaches of contemporary ceramic art through the works of 15 artists from USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, South Korea, Israel and Poland, and celebrates the launch of Ceramics Now Magazine’s first printed issue. The artists are also featured in the issue.
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Chang Hyun Bang (SK), Antonella Cimatti (IT), Patrick Colhoun (UK), Carole Epp (CA), Simcha Even-Chen (IL), Shamai Gibsh (IL), Mark Goudy (US), Roxanne Jackson (US), Margrieta Jeltema (IT), Maciej Kasperski (PL), Jim Kraft (US), Cynthia Lahti (US), Claire Muckian (UK), Connie Norman (US), Liza Riddle (US).
EXHIBITION SPACE: The Paintbrush Factory (third floor) Henri Barbusse nr. 59-61 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
"As a commercial artist designing products for retail store windows and interior displays, trade show booths and special events, I worked with many different materials to create three-dimensional objects. When I retired and started working with clay, I realized that clay was an exciting and wonderfully tactile material which I had to explore in depth.
I’m intrigued with the concept that the artist’s hand can manipulate clay into a work of art which expresses an emotion, tells a story, can be functional or is purely visually appealing. At times, the clay seems to have a life of its own as it leads me, morphing from one form and concept to another. On other occasions, I can envision the completed piece before even touching the clay.
Inspired by Nature, my work reflects the unlimited variety of textures, patterns, and energy I find in my natural surroundings. Texture and the tactile sense have always been an important part of my work. I hand build with clay slabs, coils, and extruded shapes and use various clay bodies, firing processes, glazes and cold finishes for making different forms and surface textures.
I enjoy creating artworks which not only express my love of Nature, but which also allow me to bring the essence of the outdoors into interior spaces.” Kathy Pallie
Martha Cashman, Miranda Daly & Angie Shanahan Exhibition - West Cork Arts Centre
Martha Cashman, Miranda Daly & Angie Shanahan - A Different Dimension, West Cork Arts Centre 26 November, 2011 - 14 January, 2012
Martha Cashman, ceramic artist; Miranda Daly, film-maker and Angie Shanahan, painter present an exhibition exploring a narrative of the former Wolfe’s Bakery in Skibbereen, West Cork.
The artists are interested in the transition from one state of being to another and in conveying a sense of past human activity and industrial output associated with this building. Wolfe’s Bakery is the site for the planned new building for West Cork Arts Centre.
The artists will present a Talk in the Gallery on Thursday 12 January 2012 at 1.30pm, and Inma Pavon, dancer, will present a performance in response to the work in the gallery on: Saturday, 14 January at 3.00 pm.
Project Description - Wolfe’s Bakery:
"A disused industrial building in the centre of Skibbereen town - formerly Wolfe’s Bakery - destined for demolition. Due to be rebuilt as the new West Cork Art Centre."
Miranda Daly, film maker and employee in the West Cork Art Centre approached Martha Cashman, ceramic artist and me Angie Shanahan, painter, with the initial concept. The concept; to encompass through three distinct disciplines within the arts, ceramics, film and painting a unique exhibition which will capture the essence and deliver the narrative of the former Wolfe’s Bakery.
As artists, all three of us are interested in the archival documentation of transition from one state of being to another. This element of change is especially appealing when it contains an architectural and historical nuance conveying a sense of past human activity and industrial output. We believe the former Wolfe’s Bakery in the centre of Skibbereen town perfectly encapsulates these elements. Fundraising for the new West Cork Art Centre has become a dynamic force within the town and beyond and is an exciting prospect. Our aim is to create a similar dynamic force and form discursive interaction between us as artists and the people of the West Cork peninsula. A parallel symmetry between what was, and what will be. Through our proposed exhibition with catalogue, we would like to prepare a visual narrative of the life of this old Bakery before its demolition. Allied with the verbal expressions of interest we have received from people in the business community towards this project, we believe the participation of The Arts Council through the awarding of an essential grant will help us to prepare and present an exciting exhibition in the latter part of 2011.
Artists interpretation of the living world in Sculpture, Painting & Installation.
The wild life of wildlife. A flower growing through the crack in the pavement, the ivy scaling the fascia of a building, camouflaging, cloaking, pulling it to the ground, the tree growing around a concrete pillar, engulfing it slowly, morphing year on year. The birds nest in the rafters of a roof, made up of twigs and plastic ties, the nested young being fed the preservative pumped, calorie powered garbage bin rewards. These are glimpses of wildlife interacting, adjusting, adapting to the environment that we’ve created, over, around, on top of it, the once green meadow now a sea of steel work, glass and poured concrete, trees confined to their architect planned and perfectly aligned boxes. But our wild life, this wildlife is playing a slow game, a slow deathly dance between the static, lifeless concrete structures we’ve built and the unstoppable force of nature. Adapt or be adapted, adjust or be adjusted, remember me? I was here before you, I’ve always been here, you need me, I am life. Is mother nature reclaiming our temporary oasis or is it adapting to the obstacles that we’ve put in its way or are we now having to listen to the reminder that this place is not ours, we are simply borrowing it?
Confirmed Artists: Josie Morway (Painter) Rose Sanderson (Painter) Jennifer Murphy (Collage) Kelly Allen - (Painter) D*Face (Mixed media) Dan Witz (Mixed media) Jake Wood Evans (Painter) Roxanne Jackson (Sculptor) Kelly McCallum (Sculptor) Jessica Joslin (Sculptor) Kai & Sunny (Mixed media) Katja Holtz (Painter) Renhui Zhao (Mixed Media)
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. - Charles Lindbergh
StolenSpace Gallery The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane London E1 6QL +44 (0) 207 247 2684 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceramics Now Magazine: Text and pattern is seen everywhere on your works; they make a fantastic rhythm and enhance the forms. When did you start to use text on your works?
Connie Norman: My current style using text started years ago when I was making mixed media sculptures that were mostly clay integrating text. I gave myself the challenge to make something esthetically pleasing. What I wanted to do was -to be able to tell a story with pots. I suddenly had the revelation of incorporating the text onto my pots. But it is very ironic that I use words on my work, because I have always struggled with writing. And I still do! When I was working in sculpture I only used single words, but now I have expanded to phrases.
You recently came home from Ethiopia. What did you experience there? Tell us your impressions.
My journey to Ethiopia started approximately four years ago, when my husband and I started the adoption process for our son Vander. In 2009 our permanent relationship with the country of Ethiopia started, we traveled to Addis Ababa, to pick up our son. As the days, months and years went by; I realized I wanted to give back to the country that gave us our son. I started looking for a way to go back to Ethiopia and volunteer. I went to Ethiopia this past July for three weeks. I worked with three organizations, One Child Campaign, Vision on Africa and Mission Ethiopia.
I worked with women to help restore their dignity who are HIV positive and who have leprosy, and women who are destitute. Through the language of clay we were able to communicate, laugh and be with each other without a common language. The women of Mission Ethiopia are HIV positive and suffer from leprosy; these women are considered outcasts and unemployable. Women like these and their children, spend their days searching the garbage dumps for food. Now, these women make pit fired beads, which are fired on the ground in an open fire.Currently they are able to feed their children and themselves.
I sat with the women much like an old fashioned quilting circle, they showed me how to roll the beads in my palm and decorate each bead. While we were making beads their children ran in, out and played outside with meager toys like old tires, but were always smiling. Vision of Africa is an organization that is helping destitute women in many diverse ways, they provide medical care for mothers and children are educated on contraceptives, sponsorship programs of orphans, and of course they train women to be potters. Ceramics in Ethiopia is a very hands’ on process I was asked to help the women with their production process, but I felt like I learned more from them, than they learned from me. Tigist, the master potter gently guides the women from mixing the clay they collect from other regions of Ethiopia, to hand building bowls, vases, spice cellars, and coffee pots, and much more. While I was there, Tigist did a pit fire with me. I was amazed at her skill; she laid the green pots near the fire and slowly moved them into the fire ring. Then just like in American raku, she threw the pots in some dried leaves for a post reduction process.
"Me in Ethiopia with boys from one of the orphanages in Addis Ababa. I caught my frist chicken."
Ceramics Now Magazine: You’ve been working with ceramics for over twenty years now. Do you remember your first works? How did you evolved in time?
Blaine Avery: It has been just over 20 years since I stated in the field of ceramics. I remember my first works very well I know at every point in my career I strived to produce the best possible work I could, going against any business plan and striving to be the best artist I could. I threw away many of my works because in my opinion they just did not meet the mark. I felt it better to show and sell only what I felt was the finest quality I could produce at any point of my development as an artist. My first works were refined shapes as I was trying to get to the root of the form. Most were based on early american folk pottery that of, Edgefield South Carolina, Central North Carolina stonewares and slip trailed earthen wares.
These first works were simply glazed or left unglazed and fired in a wood-fired salt glazing kiln. In my early work I wasn’t ready to decorate the surface, I was only concerned with the root of the form; once I felt that I had achieved mastery of this, only then was I able to begin to think of working with surface design, by adding patterns a zoomorphic imagery. However, some forms still call me to show their true essence.
Dancing turtle platter (salt glazed, local clay, hand painted slip, glaze) - View Blaine’s works
You work with great delicacy when using patterns and symbols of ancient cultures on your works. How do you choose these patterns?
I first began looking at my surroundings, taking patters and imagery from nature. So much inspiration can be found in nature, if you just pay attention to its rhythm and symmetry. With other designs I do look back on many cultures, taking from them what I feel is relevant to me in this time and place. I first started looking at early American ceramics of the 1600’s forward, than from there I began studying pre-Columbian ceramics and folk art from around the world. There is a common thread that links all ancient cultures, a trueness and simplicity that I feel drawn to. I also study textile patterns for many ideas as in nature there is a rhythm, a symmetry and a repetition that calls to me. Sometimes, I take only one small part of a pattern and cover the pot with it, repeating the process over and over; repetition can be very powerful if done correctly.
“I am currently using ceramics and mixed media. My work is characterized by a reflection of contemporary society with a subtle humor and a tendency to idealize. I make works that stand alone, as well as installations.
The ceramic figures of ‘Sisyphus Work’ are condemned to an inevitable and senseless action. The titles that I use are referring to an existentialism in which an absurd figure plays the main role, extending far beyond the limits of vanity. They perform actions, although they realize that life is without meaning, but they stubbornly refuse to take the escape routes of death or faith. Spraying grass green, air exchange systems which are much too small to have any effect, machines that suck volatile odors, trying with mental control to move a vehicle. Again, and again, and again. Acceptance of the fundamental emptiness is the only thing that’s left.
The “Human Hybrids” installation is about the possible consequences of genome manipulation and malleable man. Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism’s genome using modern DNA technology. In examining the effect of specific genes, scientists have already made a fish that glows under UV light, pork with spinach genes, goats which produce spider’s web and there is also a Genmouse with super muscles that is protected against obesity.” Els Wenselaers