Thesis

Clay and metal : a dialogue

Burdens and supports is the beginning idea--amorphous organs of clay, bound, supported and pierced by ribbons of steel. The clay reacts to the steel which is constructed first, like the feminine dancer following the masculine lead. The clay harmonizes with the energy of metal where it is supported and constricted, and breaks away when it gets the chance. The metal is strong, disciplined, rigid, taking hard physical strength and heat to form; the clay is soft, flexible, fragile. The fire affects both materials: distorts and carbonizes the metal leaving it prone to rust, and hardens and colors the clay. The work is brutal and physical in approach, formed as directly and simply as possible with no petrifying, except for the beauty brought by the fire. It is about the interaction of these two materials which are metaphors for people and the way they react with each other and within themselves, the way in which different parts support and then interfere with another, at times causing pain. Paradoxically, the energy of the metal energizes the clay while constricting it; the clay needs the metal for support. In the most recently made piece, the wall combines with the metal to hold up the clay, which is like a cloud pinned to the wall. The pieces are sometimes about particular people I have known or parts of myself at war, and always are visual fantasies for the working out of these ideas, feelings and musings.

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