I visited this exhibition with a bit of trepidation because it is the first time for me to see that conceptual ceramics has a place in the art scene like this.
As I am moving towards a more conceptual expression in clay, I was very intrigued by what I saw.
I also went to hear Edmund DeWaal and Magdalene Odundo talking about their interpretation of “Vessel”.
I am taking away a few thoughts.
- Personal history: I was moved by the piece by Shahpour Pouyanan Iranian artist that created an installation of roofs and domes of churches and other religious buildings from all the countries from which his ancestors come from. I can relate to this as during our drives through Europe we always know the changes of country by the spires of the churches. It has always fascinated me.
- Environmental issues, colourful glazes: I loved the giant squid by David Zink Yi but even more his glaze palette originally displayed as shell like shapes all lined up on the wall. The use of the material was very exciting and the work is a comment on the destruction of the environment we are perpetrating.
- Life and death: Magdalene Odundo and Edmund de Waal talked about their different approaches to material, but both talked how pots can express life or be shattered in death. How they have been used through history to represent cultures and their lives and the loss of life in shards.
With my Faces I want to express some of these issues of life and death. Magdalene Odundo said in Africa they used to break vessels when someone died, Edmund DeWaal used shards and hidden pots in cupboards and cracked pots in his installation in the Camondo’s house in Paris to remember the terrible fate of that family.
May be the spark of a new idea is forming.