11 May The ‘earth’ series
Ceramics from this last month.
Been working on two series: (1) a body of vessels I call the ‘earth’ series, based on memories of the land, ground, and earth in India, particularly Northern Bihar, India, and Muzafferpur. I first moved here from England when I was five, and was frightened by the ground. this fear was reinforced by all the hindu myths, such as Sita getting swallowed back by mother earth in the Ramayana, Hanuman carrying a mountain or Ganga being trapped in Shiva’s hair. In all cases the earth became something more, something tied to the dark recesses of my imagination, something wild and untamable.
Earth Series Vessel #1: (h)6.5” X (opening diameter) 4”…looks like wood, darker in the crevices, knots on the surface, but feels rough, like dry cement, caked on, and not at all pleasing to the touch, but the colors range from light red clays to deep brown ochres, I wanted it to be lighter still, more yellow, but that only remains in the areas where the rutile mixture did not touch the surface. the inside glaze is thin on the upper surfaces and bubbled at the bottom, I like that scraping effect of allowing the light brown of the clay to come through the cream glaze, connects the inside to the outside, as if the outside has seeped in through the walls, to the inside.
Earth Series Vessel #2 Height: 6” X Opening diameter: 4”
…has more crackling on the surface, the earth has been scorched and is cracked open, falling on this ground would definitely scrape my knees, and when I land on the palm of my hands, I will be able to feel the hardness for many meters below the surface, something that has a hollow echoing in its voice, reminding me of how fragile I am and how much deeper and stronger this earth I stand on is. its reminding me of what its weight would feel like if I were to be buried in this ground, and still the surface blows in the hot air, a dust that covers everything in sight, light powder that disappears when rubbed between my fingers, its so fine and delicate, life baby powder. Here the shape reminds me of a coconut.
…this one has more of a yellow jaundiced look, the surface in areas looks more like tree bark, something I associate with England, and them in areas the color reminds me of dried earth, something that is turing barren, or rather is baked tough from the sun and needs some rain to soften it and make it less menacing, something you feeling in the bones of your hips when running and you pound your feet against. there isn’t enough padding in my body to absorb the schock of running on this earth. In my hands it feels rough and harsh, like its waiting to gently scrape me, but its alive. When I hold it in my hands, its crevices look like rivers seen from an airplane the ground around it decaying, or rather waiting to simple wipe off the vermin that inhabit its surface. this landscape is greater than any we could build.
In England, the landscape was about the trees, soft rich grass and the cool air. The dark earth if I dug down to it, was soft and moist. In India, the earth was harsh, falling down on my knees and the palms of my hands, there wasn’t enough padding in me to save me from feeling a ground that was baked hard by the sun for several feet below, and the happiest moments were the monsoon, when the rain was soaked up and earth became soft clay.
My second series: Skin & Flesh series, explores flesh forms, and the textures of skin. This was a topic i was trying to explore in encaustics, but somehow the stoneware media opened pathways that I hadnt thought of, and allows me to think about our bodies as vessels that is both sensual, spritual and sad.