Kira O’Brien: Blue Lady, 2011, Sgraffito, white earthenware, black and colored slips, 1150 transparent glaze, 40cm
Intrigued by the tenuous connection between past, present and future and the shadowy, illusive meaning of time, Annie Woodford makes work that is both haunting and enigmatic. Shifting boundaries between science and metaphysics and an enduring interest in parallel universe theory instill the pieces with a heightened intensity, whilst an obsession with hidden worlds has prompted her investigations into microscopy and the nano universe - making the unseen seen.
Captivated by the natural world and our mysterious, infinite universe - whether seen at macroscopic or microscopic levels - she finds them the source of endless fascination and wonder. Mankind’s place within that universe and the dichotomy between our wish for progress and our proclivity for self-destruction, has become a central theme.
A passion for frozen environments and the message they embrace, not only from the past but also for the future of our planet has resulted in research trips to the Arctic and Iceland and a detailed study of the coldest place on Earth – Antarctica.
The work exhibits qualities that reflect the natural world, elements that highlight its beauty and transience. Fragile, frangible, complex and esoteric, delicately balanced between risk and control, her pieces float and oscillate between absence and presence, hovering silently in a place between.
‘Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere’ Blaise Pascal, mathematician, poet, philosopher.
Annie Woodford: Piercing Rim, detail, 2007
Annie Woodford: Silent Constrainer, 2008, Porcelain, copper, stainless steel, 38x24x18cm.
“The concept of my recent work is about form, and it grows from my curiosity about space; it investigates the relationship between two objects and it questions how we should make the landscape to react to man-made object. In my work I aim to explore that joyful, interesting, and mysterious relationship between objects and to create compositions with complex configurations though simple and unexpected components.
It is my intention to trigger the viewer to look closer and rediscover the ordinary, yet unfamiliar relationships that exists everywhere within all objects and human beings. Through sensations, communication and exploration, both objects and humans are able to obtain appropriate space and attention. I hope my work is able to look into this perception of the relationships, but more importantly - to enrich this relationship and establish a sense of place.” Kwok-Pong Tso
Kwok-Pong ‘Bobby’ Tso: The View From Above Series No.2, Industrial landscape, 2012, White earthenware, cone 04 oxidation, sanded surface, plastic, metal, and wood, H 8, W 24, D 16
Kwok-Pong ‘Bobby’ Tso: We Alter, We Change and We call it our own, Industrial landscape Series, 2011, White earthenware, cone 4 oxidation, sanded surface, additional detail created by wood, hobby paper and sand, Metal hanging system, H 8, W 18, D 15
Bogdan Teodorescu: Folkloric Hypnosis, 2011, decal and painted porcelain, diam c. 20 cm
“Awkward primitive animal instincts lie unconsciously in our genetic make-up. Dominance, survival, reproduction, and group instinct feed our propensity to digress into our egos; cruelty, alpha status, fight or flight, sexual exploits, and pack mentality. In my body of work I create imagery that embodies tension and anxiety, while also reflecting animalistic traits and certain elements of human ritualistic thought and control that intrigue me. Using clay as my primary sculptural material allows me to explore these thoughts and questions using techniques that actually originated in human ritualistic practices. Figures, deities, and fetishes were modeled into both animal and human form for magical or religious practices long before clay was used for utilitarian ware. This harnessing of imagery deemed as powerful has survived for centuries, allowing humans to access manifestations of supernatural forces believed to improve their daily struggles in life.
Personally and intuitively driven, my work with imagery of animals is grounded in the exploration of the universal human condition, focusing on aspects of the ceremonial; serving as embodiments for the physical, spiritual, and psychological being. My preoccupation with human existence, alienation, fear and apathy, is what motivates me to express elements of autobiography, ritual, and the significance of life’s struggles. Working between narrative and abstract, revealing both the perception of power and powerlessness, the figures and symbols that I create are often purposely rendered disfigured and dysfunctional.” Kimberly Cook
Kimberly Cook: Trophy, 35” x 23” x 20”, ceramic, mason stain, gold luster, 2011
“All my life I have been fascinated with form and color. During my youth I watched my mother dabble in various art media; eventually she settled on ceramics. Inspired by her explorations I struck out on my own. I focused on the two-dimensional plane first with photography, then painting, and finally printmaking. Recently I began attending a community Raku night where I discovered my true joy is interacting with clay and creating three-dimensional forms. The spontaneity and plasticity of the medium makes handbuilding a process of discovery - full of surprises. My approach is a collaboration where the clay and I work together to discover hidden shapes and reveal emotions and personalities through animal forms.
Just as friends and acquaintances have their own distinctive traits and behaviors, each of my sculpted animals has personality and expresses a unique character. When people step into my world (via studio or gallery), they often smile and chuckle as they recognize a bit of themselves, their pets, friends or family members in the postures and expressions of my sculptures. In this work, my intention is to present the best of humanity through our animal friends and to help us laugh and love our differences and ourselves.” Paula Bellacera
“While growing up near the ocean, I spent many hours peering at tiny creatures and looking for clues to their secret lives. This began a lifelong passion for the the minute details, the battered fragments, and the myriad patterns of organic life. The smallest bits of bone or shell would ignite intense curiosity and imaginative leaps; What was this creature? What did it look like? How did it die? Did it have a family, a home, or friends? Did it feel or think? What would it have thought of me? I create sculptural objects in an empathetic attempt to gain insight into the inner life of creatures and I seek to spark curiosity and imaginative leaps in the viewer.
Clay is critical to exploring these ideas. Touching clay and responding to its organic properties are key aspects of my largely exploratory and intuitive creative process. Risk taking and pushing materials to their limits is also important. I experiment with the forces used to shape clay, glaze, and glass as a process for imagining and exploring the effects of natural forces. I combine clays with glass or other materials to see what they reveal about their individual properties when they are fused together.” Debra Fleury