Seven or so weeks until the exhibition at artSPACE durban... and so much to do. Finally decided on the title; Body, Vessel, Archetype. The artist statement came surprisingly eaily but not without a good few months of contemplating.
‘The power of clay is with us from the creation myth beginnings from the well known Bible story of Adam made from clay to Mud Diver and Coyote of the North American Indians.’ (Quote by Kathleen I Kimball).
There is something deeply entrenched in the human psyche about the use of and the symbolism of clay. Throughout history, in many cultures, ‘humans have seen clay pots as people and clay objects housing the soul;’ Pots as houses of the spirit. And there are still rituals and taboos concerning the making and using of pots, for example ‘when a Gurensi woman dies her eating bowl is broken at the funeral as the pot’ is symbolic here of the body as vessel, the body which is no longer working.
Joseph Campbell talked about developing ‘an identification with our consciousness and no longer’ regarding ‘our physical body as who we are. That the body is the vehicle through which our consciousness/spirit interact, experience and participate within our physical environment.’ (See below for a link to Joseph Campbell)
These concepts are pivotal to this body of work.
For my vessels I have used porcelain as for me it requires more time and patient attention than other clays. A reminder for me to slow down and to enjoy the journey/process. When fired it is at once strong and yet fragile. Unglazed it reminds me of bone. The mendhi patterns that I have used to decorate the porcelain hint at celebration and blessings.
For my oil paintings I have used un-mounted highly decorative and embroidered canvases with the aim of integrating both aesthetically and metaphorically what I paint and the surfaces on which I paint. As with previous work, the fabrics on which I paint allude to the observation that often times both paintings and concepts are rarely painted on blank canvases but are laid down on cultural fabrics that alter or impact our perceptions.
Some of my tall porcelain mendhi vessels
Work in progress. Oil on Canvas
Some more of my porcelain bowls. They make me so happy...