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Art

A Whirling Porcelain Coral Reef Draws Attention to the Cost of Climate Change

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, photograph by Amanda Brooks

The latest installation by ceramicist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison (previously) is Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)a porcelain coral arrangement produced for the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. The site-specific work features a vibrant cluster of coral structures at its center which turn stark white the further they are placed from the installation’s core. This shifting gradient references the rapid devastation caused to reefs as temperature levels rise and force corals to lose their colorful algae.

This installation is a celebration of Indonesia’s coral reefs, while also pinpointing the human-caused damage that infects the vibrant systems. “Corals, anemones, sponges and other reef-dwelling invertebrates coalesce into a cyclone-like spiral with colorful healthy corals at the eye of the storm, their tentacles and branches dancing in the current,” explains Mattison. “Toward the edges and tail of the swirling constellation, corals sicken and bleach, exposing their sterile white skeletons—a specter of what could be lost from climate change. Yet at its heart the reef remains healthy, resilient and harmonious.”

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Amanda Brooks

Indonesia is located at the heart of what is called the “Coral Triangle” or “Amazon of the Sea.” This environment is host to more invertebrate species than can be found anywhere else on the planet, in addition to thousands of species of fish which thrive in the rich ecosystem. Mattison hopes that her handmade constructions of the Coral Triangle’s diverse specimens produces an excitement in viewers while sparking an interest to protect the delicate balance found in Indonesia’s coral systems.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

Mattison is exhibiting another recent installation titled Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI) in the group show Endangered Species: Artists on the Frontline of Biodiversity, curated by Barbara Matilsky, at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington through January 6, 2019. Mattison will travel to Bali at the end of October to unveil a 60-foot-long community-based coral installation she designed for the Coral Triangle Center in Sanur, Bali titled Semesta Terumbu Karang—Coral Universe. The work features over 2000 elements sculpted by a team of over 300 volunteers, coral reef conservationists, and Balinese artisans. You can see further conservation-based projects by Mattison on her website and Instagram.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 230 x 260 x 50 cm

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018)

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018)

 

 



Art

Parted Ceramic Mouths and Clenched Hands Enliven Tea Sets by Ronit Baranga

September 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Tea Party," all images provided by Ronit Baranga

“Tea Party,” all images provided by Ronit Baranga

Sculptor Ronit Baranga (previously here and here) produces figurative ceramic works that combine human characteristics with inanimate objects such as teacups, saucers, and plates. Open mouths are placed at the center of cups and pots, begging to sip the contents poured inside, while fingers mounted to the bottom of the pieces look as if they might carry the works across the table.

The Israel-based artist currently has a solo exhibition titled Tea Party at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Australia which closes September 30, 2018. Her work is also included in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine‘s curated exhibition Ephemeral at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco through October 6, 2018, and the group exhibition Beauties and the Beast at Galerie Klose in Essen, Germany opening September 28. You can see more of her anatomical ceramics on her website and Instagram.

"Whispering to Myself"

“Whispering to Myself”

"Embraced #22"

“Embraced #22”

"Wild Things #3"

“Wild Things #3”

"Wild Thing #11"

“Wild Thing #11”

"Whispering to Myself #1"

“Whispering to Myself #1”

"The Wild Things"

“The Wild Things”

"The Wild Things"

“The Wild Things”

"Hallowed Lady Pinching and Squeezing Kettle"

“Hallowed Lady Pinching and Squeezing Kettle”

"Hallowed Lady Pinching and Squeezing Kettle"

“Hallowed Lady Pinching and Squeezing Kettle”

"Embraced in Blue"

“Embraced in Blue”

 

 



Art

Carved Surfaces on Ceramics by Sean Forest Roberts Reveal Surprising Streaks of Color

September 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Multi-layered ceramics by Sean Forest Roberts reveal surprising streaks of color and pattern beneath their smooth monochrome surfaces. Roberts, who operates as Forest Ceramic Company, mixes and pours colored liquid clays to create the colorful patterns in his ceramics. He also uses carving tools to unearth layered colors in motifs based on patterns and structures found in nature. The artist, who is based in Orcas Island in Washington, has a background in chemistry and working in science labs, and that scientific background informs his experimental mindset. You can see more from Forest Ceramic Company on Instagram and Facebook and purchase finished works on their website.

 

 

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Art

Fresco-Inspired Porcelain Bowls Formed From Balloons by Guy Van Leemput

August 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Ceramicist and mathematician Guy Van Leemput forms textured bowls by drafting interlocking lines, abnormally shaped circles, and other designs on the surface of balloons. The artist begins by adding a porcelain stamp to the bottom of his rubber mold and then working his way in a circular motion upward. Although his designs are geometrically inspired, he creates each piece based on intuition rather than a pre-determined template. When finished, the pots are so translucent they appear as if they were formed from paper. This aesthetic, both in the works’ color and technique, was inspired by ancient Italian fresco paintings, and has been a part of his practice since 2014.

Currently Van Leemput’s work is included in the Porcelain Biennale at the Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen, Germany, the city where European porcelain was first composed. The exhibition opened earlier this month and runs through November 4, 2018. You can take a look inside the artist’s studio and handbuilt kiln in a video made for the Dutch ceramics magazine de kleine K below. (via Art is a Way)

 

 



Art

Pixelated Ceramics by Toshiya Masuda Bring a Tactile Experience to Digital Images

August 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Japanese artist Toshiya Masuda builds pixelated objects out of clay, piecing together sculptural tennis shoes, fried eggs, and baseballs that look as if they have been pulled directly from a video game. By designing his works to appear digital, Masuda provides a physical quality to computer or television-based images. The combination of ceramics and digitized objects allows the artist to blur the line between what is real and virtual, an increasingly common experience in our present age. You can learn more about his studio practice in the video by Keiko Art International below. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art Craft

Coral-Inspired Vessels Formed From Thousands of Individually-Applied Porcelain Fragments by Olivia Walker

August 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

London and Barcelona-based ceramicist Olivia Walker produces works in porcelain that address the ideas of growth and decay through additive and subtractive processes. After creating her initial shape on a potter’s wheel, Walker attaches thousands of individually-applied fragments that appear like organic growths. “I start from a set point on a bowl, and let these organic accretions spread out and grow – eating through, or growing over the form beneath,” she explains. “These make reference to organisms – fungus, coral, and bacteria – but are unidentifiable.”

Walker’s vessels are currently a part of the New Member Showcase at CAA Gallery in London through August 31, 2018. She will also be showing her sculptures at the British Craft Pavilion as a part of the London Design Festival from September 20-23, 2018. You can see more of her porcelain works on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Comical Combinations of Ceramic Animals Form Surreal New Figurines

June 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Debra Broz cleverly fuses found ceramic figurines to create comical new animals. From high-fiving horses to boxers with parrot wings, her work exists in the space where familiar and surreal meet. The artist shares with Colossal, “As I look for pieces that match in scale I’m brainstorming: What makes this funny? What makes this strange? How subtle or extreme does an alteration have to be to make someone notice?”

Broz also works as a ceramics restorer, and her professional training and experience gives her the tools to create these seamless amalgamations without making molds or fully recreating the component torsos, heads, and limbs. The Los Angeles-based artist describes her mixed influences of mythology and biology:

I play on the idea of the “mad scientist”, cutting things apart and forming them into something else, like Dr. Moreau or Dr. Frankenstein, but I often find my initial inspiration in the biological world. Some pretty amazing mutations, anomalies and unusual traits have been found in animals over history. “Freaks” have always amazed, but also amused and often frightened people – they are a source of mythology and folklore that is pervasive.

Upcoming projects include a book, scheduled for 2019, and new figurines that branch out to include different materials. You can stay up to date on Broz’s work and see behind-the-scenes on her Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

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