Holly Walker: The Atlas of Days is on view at Plinth Gallery, Denver
November 4 – December 24, 2022
Plinth Gallery is pleased to present ‘The Atlas of Days’, a new exhibition by Holly Walker.
What informs a ceramic artist as they make work? We can also ask ourselves as viewers, users, and appreciators of ceramic work, how are we guided by the maker? There is symbiotic relationship between the artist’s intention and how we garner this information. In the world of useable ceramics, we are often overly exposed to a plethora of work that has little or no content. We are not neither informed by the maker nor do we become emotionally involved with such objects. Perhaps whatever the small bits are of the artist’s intention become lost.
Useable ceramics is defined firstly by its containment. If the shape or form is of interest, we can then start to become emotionally involved with the piece. Once our interest is piqued we can delve further into the work. If the work is decorated, has a pattern or marks on the surface, we may be prompted to become even more involved with the work. What becomes more than an “I like or I don’t like” moment for us is that what has informed the maker has been observed and received by the viewer. The empathy or the ability to be informed by sharing the feelings of another ceramic artist, is what makes for a successful work of useable pottery.
Holly Walker’s ceramics are hand-built by pinching rolled coils to develop the form. There is uniqueness of each piece in that the slight irregularities in each shape interest us. Her painted decoration is used minimally, yet draws us further into being informed of the artist’s intent. Walker is influenced by both contemporary and historical paintings, having first started her practice as a painter, and works intuitively in collaboration with the clay. She uses “abstract geometric structure to map the geography of the pot, enlivening it with painterly brushing of colored slips and glazes.” Each piece has its own “geography, ” which is the arrangement of both color and decoration on forms. ” The division of space on a pot or a painting, the shapes that result, this is all part of both an intuitive and a learned geometry.” She has successfully merged both intention and information and those qualities are clearly transmitted to the viewer in a very solid and intriguing body of work.
Text by Jonathan Kaplan
3520 Brighton Blvd
Denver CO, 80216