JUNE 1-29, 2012
Presenting artwork by
Ashley Alyce York
Opening Reception June 1
hosted by Lenoir Woman's Club
Artwork by Pam Brewer
Artwork by Hank Burris
Artwork by Mark Gordon
Artwork by Ashley York
PAM BREWER - During my art education, I was fascinated with the exercise of gesture drawing, the act of creating an image quickly with little or no line. This type of drawing encourages an instinctive or intuitive gesture. For me, the product of this exercise reveals the essence of the subject. I see the same possibility of revealing essence, while collaborating with the clay, a much slower process.
One of my greatest influences is the work of Elie Nadelman. The rhythm and balance in his sculptures, his lyrical design and the impact of light and shadow are all qualities that continue to inspire my work.
Essentially a minimalist, I use the most time honored hand building techniques. My tools are simple and mechanization minimal. Most of my work is low fired earthenware. The soft patina on the sculptures, which appears to defy the ceramic surface, is a process called terra sigillata. This is a process which is the oldest form of sealing clay, dating to ancient Greece.
My intention as an artist is to investigate and honor our experience as human beings and all that that requires. I believe that all beings and things are connected and I attempt to live consciously in that knowing. Through clay I am reminded that in nature we find the connectedness and understanding for which we so desperately strive.
I am committed to sharing the knowledge I have so graciously been given and teach whenever possible. I believe very strongly in the work that we artists and craftspeople do and feel it imperative that we pass on not only the ability but the confidence to find the creator within us all.
HANK BURRIS - the body of work I have been developing during my stay at UNC Charlotte is inspired by my love of Anime and emotional reactions to environment, familial and social elements.
I developed the idea of using marionettes from an Anime series Vampire Princess Miyu. One episode depicts a demon god who changes people into puppets under the lure of immortal beauty. This brought to mind stories of the golem and the animation film “9” of man made items becoming vessels for souls. I wanted to develop this and so researched marionettes: how are they made, used in performance, manipulated by the controls and why they are fashioned and styled in specific expressions or appearances. Marionettes do not change in appearance like facial expressions or clothing like people to show expression. Their pose and posturing becomes the strongest device to communicate. I developed the theme of using marionettes to communicate emotion and reactions based on posturing and keeping features neutral. I see us as individuals being manipulated by politics, religion, family, friends and society as a whole just as a marionette is controlled by the puppeteer. The stories of my work evolved from self analysis into reactions to the events and people around me.
MARK GORDON - The physicality of clay, along with its remarkable ability to freeze action and respond to physical impact, to retain any fleeting impression, immediately and permanently captured my interest decades ago. Clay is a universal medium: potters’ vessels have formed an essential part of material culture. My work explores inherent properties of clay transformed through the kiln’s incandescent energy. I approach claywork as an act of pulling shape out of inchoate matter, an ongoing experiment in seeking variation and harmony in shapes. My intention is for that experimentation with form and surface, combined with an element of mystery, to draw viewers to my work. Often, in the vessels, Greek or Chinese forms seem to be echoed in my clay shapes. In contrast, the non-vessel ceramic pieces may refer to architectural fragments, combined geometries, or biomorphic musings.
The small works included in the current display at Caldwell Arts range from wheelthrown vessels to small-scale handbuilt clay sculptures. A variety of techniques and surfaces are included: a burnished saggar-fired lidded urn; a wire-wrapped Raku bottle; handbuilt egg shapes; functional stoneware bowls…
ASHLEY YORK - The selected body of work is intended as an amusing and fictitious reflection of humanity’s relationship to the ubiquitous machines that support our daily lives. The pieces are built without a specific purpose in mind and the intention is for the viewer to use their imagination to assign a function, completing the piece.
My work deals with our unbalanced dependence on technology, which leads to an emotional attachment to our gadgets. We determine our worth and identities by our possession of these things, which become obsolete within months. Our relationships are often unduly colored by them, and our pursuit of the newest, flashiest, and most desired devices teaches us to value other things in our lives in those terms. This is reflected in my most current work by organic forms grafted to machine artifacts, the usefulness of which is questionable in context. Yet, they depend on these parts for their basic ability to interact with the world.
I use trompe l’oeil elements and finishes to suggest discarded, worn and rusted machines, which hold the most fascination for me. By integrating obsolete or partial elements into the design, I hope to suggest a need and obsession for rapid advancement in creating newer and better machines. My interest is in seeing into the past through its objects and tools, and to create a different context for experiencing the modern world through my imagined anachronisms. From there, a way is made to envision the possible futures of people and machines, by making them stand out as potentially separate to our way of life.