People Make Things

This week has been a week worth of playing catch up in basically everything.


Brief and wondering thought: I was a bad grad student/teacher.

I let my emails get backed up. I know. Gasp right? I felt just the same, so I spent a good amount of my Friday afternoon sifting through the mass of unread inbox mail in both my personal and my school account. I'll just say that it was enough that I had to stop after a while and pick it back up Saturday morning. My brother also vacated my apartment this weekend, after staying with me for roughly two weeks time. (He is being stationed in a new location.)  Needless to say I needed to put my living quarters back in working order before I could get to work in the studio, because I hate coming home to: a messy couch, dirty dishes, unwashed and unfolded clothes, unkept bathroom, and most importantly an unmade everything.  (All of which my brother managed to do in the short time he was at my place.)

Strange as it is, my house is the complete opposite from my studio. In the studio I have used paper towels strung about every table top imaginable. The collection gets used later on in my pieces and in a way I feel like I'm saving the environment despite my excessive use of the "paper towel" in the first place. At least I reused it form more than just drying off my hands right?


Anyway this weeks blog post is going to be an artist overload.  Nothing much happened int he studio besides my largest piece surviving the bisque firing.  I'll be posting images of that here soon.  I did  however have the pleasure of getting to speak to a number of my professors this week in depth about my work, my artists statement, and some new influences to dive into.  So I am going to amass a few of them here just to see what kind of connections they can produce between one another.

First on the list is Aganetha Dyck, an artist recommended to me by Naomi Falk, the visiting juror for the undergrad Form and Content show this past week. Turns out we were on the same SECAC panel last October in Roanoke, and she's great friends with my ceramics professor Jeff.

"In North America, Europe and many other parts of the world, bee populations have plummeted 30-50% due to colony collapse disorder, a fact not lost on artist Aganetha Dyck who for years has been working with the industrious insects to create delicate sculptures using porcelain figurines, shoes, sports equipment, and other objects left in specially designed apiaries. As the weeks and months pass the ordinary objects are slowly transformed with the bees’ wax honeycomb. It’s almost impossible to look at final pieces without smiling in wonder, imagining the unwitting bees toiling away on a piece of art. And yet it’s our own ignorance of humanity’s connection to bees and nature that Dyck calls into question, two completely different life forms whose fate is inextricably intertwined." --Colossal

Next up is Martin Kilmas, also recommended to me by Naomi.  She said I should maybe look into drawing my sculptures, as a way to activate the wall space, not only with the ceramics on the wall, but perhaps large ink drawings or prints.

This next artist Jessica Stroller came recommended a few different ways, all within the same week. My friend Jessamy sent me an image on Instagram, then not a day later my professor sent me the same thing. 

My professor Jeff mentioned to me Chris Antemann, which then brought up Jessica Harrison.

  Chris Antemann    Inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines, Chris Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.  The pieces Chris is making in the Meissen Art Campus use the literary technique of a frame narrative, a story within a story, to build relationships and create layers of information between the sculptural aspects and the painted surfaces. The main story is presented in the guise of the 18th century porcelain figurine as a context, which frames a parody or second narrative between the sculpted characters. Other stories and in many cases, the sources of inspiration for the piece are painted into the scene in elaborate detail.

Chris Antemann 

Inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines, Chris Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.

The pieces Chris is making in the Meissen Art Campus use the literary technique of a frame narrative, a story within a story, to build relationships and create layers of information between the sculptural aspects and the painted surfaces. The main story is presented in the guise of the 18th century porcelain figurine as a context, which frames a parody or second narrative between the sculpted characters. Other stories and in many cases, the sources of inspiration for the piece are painted into the scene in elaborate detail.

Jessica Harrison was born in St Bees in 1982, Jessica moved to Scotland to study sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000, going on to do an MFA before completing a practice-led PhD in sculpture in 2013, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Working with a wide variety of materials from ceramics and marble to paint and digital collage, her practice explores the mechanics of perception and a fallibility of observation through an examination of the interaction between the visual and the tactile.

Her interest lies in how we handle, interpret and navigate materials, objects and space and how this process can define the shape of the body. The things she makes propose a re-imagining of these definitions, offering an alternative shape to our perception of things, using the simplicity of materials to explore the complexity of the sensory body.

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