“I have always been interested in the ability of a ceramic vessel to point to something beyond itself—to function as metaphor. Ceramic vessels, physically structured with necks, shoulders, bellies, and feet, can evoke the gesture and anthropomorphized stance of the human body; they also reveal deep aspects of human experience and of the natural world.
My fervent interest in clay vessels has led me to explore new territories in form and surface. Recent work explores three variations on the ceramic vessel form:
The ceramic vessel as a Wellspring or Womb, with possibilities of both fecundity and barrenness; The vessel as Bottle, whose forms evoke the elongated posture of Cycladic idols and the scarified texture of Yoruba terracotta heads; The Planet Series explores swirling colored surfaces on rounded orbs, suggesting planets and depths of earthly strata.
These series represent different but related expressive interests. Each piece in a series is part of a continually evolving solution to a set of questions or parameters I have chosen to work within. The parameters, themselves, may change as the series evolve.
Through spontaneous handling of inanimate clay, I attempt to find and breathe life into form. My creative process is grounded in reflective practice—imposing ideas on and listening to the material in cycles of learning. The material directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship.” Ellen Schon
Ellen Schön: Vessel Variations (x3) / Vessels Gallery, Boston September 7 - October 7, 2012
Opening Reception: September 7, 5.30 - 8.30 pm.
Vessels Gallery is pleased to announce Vessel Variations (x3), an exhibit of the most recent ceramic explorations of Ellen Schön. This clay artist and teacher does not see vessels as mere shapes, but rather as metaphors for the human form –the suggestions of “a neck, a shoulder, a belly, a foot”, “the evocation of a human gesture here or stance there”.
Wellspring or Womb, Schön’s first collection, evokes the contours of the womb – both fertile and barren, alive and fading.
Her second group of vessels conjures up the long, sinewy necks of the Greek Cycladic Idols and the shallow patterned cuts of the African Yoruba head sculptures. No simple Bottlesthese, but once again, shapes and designs which reference the human form.
And finally her third collection: The Planet Series, is a group of broad-bellied forms with a spinning sense of movement.
The clay directs me as I direct it. We are in a reciprocal relationship. Ellen Schön
Ellen Schön is an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Boston. She has participated in art symposia throughout the world, and has been an active member in ceramic residencies in Malaysia, Germany, Finland, Croatia and most recently in Hungary. Her passionate interest in international artistic collaboration has led to her participation in the “Transcultural Exchange Tile Project” through which her students have created ceramic tiles, which have been included in wall installations in China and India.