Having made some decisions about what I am making for the timebeing I have given myself licence to explore the edges of what can exist; to work with pieces of clay in a way that will inevitably encounter partial or absolute destruction. To find and explore the boundary between fragility, deconstruction and obliteration. I am excited, by the tearing apart of clay that cannot hold it’s own weight, and the edges that crumble as I weave etching needles through the delicate surface. As I punch the clay with tools and stamps I am fascinated by the marks left and the empty spaces created. Holes that have been ripped through that should have contained decoration or detail. That absence and presence is fascinating. Playful and refreshing. There is an inevitable narrative.
I have recently been enjoying a brilliant book: Destroy The Picture: painting the void, 1949-1962. Particularly fascinated by the work of Otto Muehl and Shozo Shimamoto’s work with broken surfaces (painted papers, sackcloth, tied canvas bunched together). There is so much dynamism and tension in the work. Even the colours used are harsh: splashed and ‘exploding’. I am drawn to them; to the sense of aggression, of being tied or damaged, of the action as well as the outcome. These are definitely things I am conscious of whilst making my ceramic work.