Nothing puts a little pep in your step like realizing your first big critique is just two days away and you technically haven't "mounted" or "finished" any of your pieces...
[Insert mind exploding rambling and crying in the corner]
But all of the stressing and freaking out about what to do for critique is ok, and well worth it because I have found over time I work best under pressure; as long as that pressure isn't skull crushing. Amongst the chaos that is my life in grad school, I have none the less had quite a productive and enlightening week. I found out on Tuesday that I was accepted into the 3 day, all expenses paid Conference Liaison Program at the British Commonwealth Postcolonial Studies Conference in Savannah, GA. I am pretty excited about that seeing as it's the second conference I will be putting under my belt. I'm also currently working towards submitting a proposal pertaining to ceramic glazes for the Research Symposium coming up in a month.
Thursday the Atlanta based artist Megan Mosholder did a visiting artist lecture about her string based installations as well as discussing her many successes in traveling, residencies, and grant writing. It was nice to get to talk to her one on one finally, after having the opportunity to meet her via Web Chat last semester in my Theory and Criticism class. Prior to her lecture she visited my studio to talk about what most graduate students want to talk about...how much their professors hate their work. Ok, that isn't all we talked about but it was something that I brought up in terms of my reasonings for transitioning to ceramics from plastics. She told me I needed to read The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, and that any questions I had needed to be directed to my Theory and Criticism Professor and her old SCAD Professor, Jason Hoelscher. I have to admit I am kind of worried about reading it because she wouldn't tell me what it was about other than it involved space and the body. We'll see how that goes later on.
Friday I busted my butt to submit a joint proposal with my colleague Jessamy for the Eagle Nation on Parade project. It might sound weird for a sculptor who hates to paint, to want to paint a 6foot tall plexiglass bird, but it all counts towards being active participant in the art community. Not to mention there is a prize involved and who doesn't need a little financial aid every now and then. I am hoping that we win the proposal, but at the same time that is just adding one more thing to my plate.
As for what artist I found this week while searching for the reasons why I make the things I make, I came across the Swedish ceramic artists Eva Hild. If the name isn't familiar, then the work surely is. I have seen her pieces everywhere, in magazines, in books, and I'm pretty sure I've seen it in a gallery in person. I am attracted to more than just the visual qualities of her work, but to how she writes about the objects she creates. Currently she has a solo exhibition going on in Stockholm, Sweden at the Galleri Andersson Sandström called Sinkhole. A snippet from her artist statement reads:
My sculptures are bodies, exposed to pressure and movements. Delicate continuously flowing entities in thin-built clay. They reflect varying degrees of external and internal pressures, and how, as a consequence, perception of inner and outer space is changed or challenged. My fascination is about the relationship between internal and external realities; the dualism between inside and outside, content and form, feeling and shape, impression and expression. It is a reflection of my inner landscapes of form. Everyday, I experience the tension between presence and absence. My sculptures show me the necessity of opposites; they are paradoxes. Bodies where presence and absence meet.
This non "art speak" statement is where I feel I can get the most information to help me in my own exploration of my work. The forms she creates from ceramics and even steal aren't exactly like mine, which is fine (I don't want them to be) but the way she talks about them I can really relate to. My work is clearly about chaos and the difference between containing the inner feelings with the outer feelings. So when she says she experiences presence and absence, I see my ceramic pieces (featured above). They are a present form, but completely absent of what they were originally made of. It's definitely something to think about for when we have the roast, I mean critique on Tuesday. I have already been told my pieces are very "body like" and the idea of containment is clearly important since they are solid masses, so seeing someone else deal with those ideas is reassuring.