Friday, August 21, 2015


Preface: This past summer and the months leading up to it have been really bloody, powerful, and complicated for America. 

I think one interesting aspects of the internship was the effect that it had on my work or the way that I view my work. I tend to lump my work into two different categories, decoration and true art. A lot of my ceramic work tends to just be explorations of visual beauty; the result, something that I’m making without much thought—without a concept. My ceramic work doesn’t command academic discussions or deep thought, I tend to make them as a bountiful glaze for the eyes. And then there’s the work that I create where I really am trying to pack a message into it. This work usually is trying to get the viewer to explore ideas in the world, relationships, power, power struggles, complicated and hidden displays of emotions. This is the work that I consider my “true art”. In my opinion, a piece needs to push someone mentally and get them to think, if it does not…it’s just something that’s pretty or interesting to look at. Over the course of the internship I really got the chance to reflect on my goals as an artist as I saw what other people were creating (even though most of these people were children). They would come in and make something that they could either use later on (a bowl) or a piece that they would just enjoy having (a wall hanging). And for the most part a lot of the pieces that resulted from the sessions showed a lack of care and intention (again, these were children). So I began to reflect and ask myself, are these pieces that are being made works of art? Are they challenging or exposing anything? Nope. So I then lumped them into the other category of decoration and from there I declared them works produced as a hobby or just something fun to do. Why of course these works brought joy to their owners! The pieces would last almost forever and would always give the creator a positive memory that they could cherish and keep every time they looked at or used their work. This everlasting joy is something that’s very dear to Abbie and it is this that gives her great joy and fuels her love for what she does! THIS IS GREAT! THIS IS AMAZING! But. As a Fine Artist, I think that I need to overstep the personal beauty and satisfaction that I receive from my work— it needs to be about more. As I stated, to me art needs to reach another level or else it falls short and becomes an everyday, ordinary object that sits on a table or hangs on a wall. In a way, I think artist need to move beyond the perhaps “childish” and easy route that only satiates the rudimentary want of work that’s fun to look at. The world doesn’t need more pretty things. The world needs ideas and theories expressed through accessible platforms such as stimulating, beautiful art pieces. I can no longer afford to make work that is purely aesthetically pleasing. The world can no longer afford for artist to bow down to representational beauty, creating work that throws a bandaid on a gunshot wound as it glosses over what really needs to be addressed. 

And with that said, here are three pieces I created in the studio. I was inspired by the loose nature of the work that passed in and out of the studio. All of them focus on being decoration (form texture, color). 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your process of confronting what you address in your own work. It's interesting to get a little in sight to how you view your work. I also really enjoy your sense of touch in your ceramic pieces that you've made this summer!