As a ceramic artist, I am committed to exploring clay as an expressive material. I am inspired by its tactile quality, rich history, and myriad of applications from utilitarian to decorative. Ideas of value, luxury, and excess drive my exploration as well as perceptions of femininity and masculinity. In Window Dressing, I question and evaluate these ideas.
This project began as a glimmer when I first stood in the gallery in front of the wall. I imagined I was I looking out a window flanked with lavish curtains that I wanted to tie back. It was here that I arrived at the bow.
Shunning practicality, I moved from ruffled tiles in recent work to bows. The frivolous and decorative quality of a bow intrigues me as I question its value and purpose. Further, one might associate words like “girly” or “frilly” when thinking of bows. I strive to counter these feminine perceptions by inserting masculine qualities into the work. This is achieved in part through the use of a dark surface, imparting a sense of sophistication, strength, and perhaps somberness.
The bow is deceptively complex. Each one is a unit containing line, gesture, mass, volume, and movement. The use of multiples and layers in the installation builds density, abstraction, and conformity, erasing the individual bow and creating a semblance of a whole.
Window Dressing creates a façade, an attractive display or false impression. The idea of adding value or covering and disguising flaws through the use of a veneer intrigues me. Historically and even today, clay and glaze imitate other materials through form and surface. This anchors me in ceramic art history and adds meaning and integrity to my work.
Window Dressing is an investigation of visual mass and arrangement of parts. It aims to balance beauty and softness with strength and power. Beyond the bows on the wall, this work was made possible through trust, support, and generosity of others.