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Art Craft

Ceramic Rings Link Nature and Community in Cecil Kemperink’s Elaborate Moveable Sculptures

August 23, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Earth Song.” All images © Cecil Kemperink, shared with permission. Photo by Marja Sterck

Constant motion and transformation underpin ceramic artist Cecil Kemperink’s philosophy, drawing inspiration from the rhythms of nature. Since 2019, she has lived on Texel, an island north of The Netherlands in the Wadden Sea that’s recognized by UNESCO as the largest continuous, undisturbed intertidal ecosystem in the world. The infinite crashing of waves on the shore, grasses or branches waving in the wind, and the way humans interact with these phenomena inspire the artist’s linked, organic pieces that combine sculpture with performance (previously). Her work centers on a sense of connectedness, both ecological and within our communities, that manifests symbolically in the form of links that expand and contract like ceramic chainmail.

Intended to be manipulated and reshaped, each ring is looped to others to create a robust yet delicate fabric that the artist can move around on the floor, suspend from the ceiling, or wear. “Motion is a key part of the expressiveness of my sculptures,” she explains. “The movements show the importance of each circle. Every ring is essential and influences the other; they are all connected. They are all one. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: conjunction, connection, power, endlessness, an eternally ongoing movement.” In some works, the components vary in size and can be expanded or contracted, while in others, such as “White grey tones,” they are closely connected and emphasize the circular form.

Kemperink’s sculptures bear a significant literal and metaphoric weight: when a piece is worn or carried, there is a strong awareness of its presence, responsibility for its care, and occasionally, the burden of carrying it. Characteristically, there’s also duality in the works’ being both malleable and taut. “The interaction of sculpture and woman/man opens several layers of consciousness,” she explains, as “each relation reveals new sensations, change of feelings, and a different energy. New perceptions are being shaped, multiple points of view arise, and consciousness is in full motion.”

Kemperink’s work “Wishful thinking” is included in the International Academy of Ceramics’ 70th-anniversary member’s exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 12 to 16. She has also recently started a YouTube channel, and you can find more of her work on her website and Instagram.

 

“Secrets.” Photo by Marja Sterck

“Something sweet in the wind”

Left: “Shaping perception 3.” Right: “Wishful thinking.” Photos by Marja Sterck

“White grey tones”

Reshaping process. Photo by Marja Sterck

“Morninglight”

“Flow motion.” Photos by Marja Sterck

 

 

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Art

Lethargic Sleepyheads Loaf in Pajamas in Ikuo Inada’s Meticulous and Contemplative Sculptures

August 18, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Night by Night.” All images © Ikuo Inada, shared with permission. Photographs by Hidehiko Omata

Embodying the bleary-eyed feeling of an early morning, insomnia, or a long, lazy day at home, artist Ikuo Inada’s meditative sculptures personify sleepiness. The Japanese artist’s meticulously carved, realistic figures clutch feather pillows, envelop themselves in comforters, or stand drowsily in soft hoodies. His ambiguous subjects, often half-hidden in a sweatshirt or a blanket, are usually between one and three feet tall and carved from a single block of wood, allowing the natural grain to complement the delicately chiseled hem of a shirt, a drawstring, and slender fingers and toes. Influenced by the expressive wrinkles and folds of Renaissance carvings, the sculptures crystalize relatable, emotional moments of solitude.

Inada’s work will be exhibited at Art Taipei with Medel Gallery Shu from October 21 to 24. You can also find more on his website and Instagram.

 

“Leave Me Alone”

Left: “A Cramped Day.” Right: “I’m Still Here”

“Such A Night”

Left: “Everything at Night.” Right: “Night Falls IV”

Detail of “Leave Me Alone”

“Night Head,” resin and acrylic

 

 



Art Craft

Vessels of Woven Copper Wire by Sally Blake Mimic the Patterns of Natural Lifeforms

August 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Blake, shared with permission

From her studio in Canberra, Australian artist Sally Blake (previously) twists and plaits copper wire into baskets and sculptures evocative of the organic matter ubiquitous around the planet. Seed pods, sprawling networks of bulbous pockets and thin, sinuous veins, and mammalian bronchial systems emerge from the malleable material, and through intricately woven motifs, Blake accentuates the tension between delicacy and resilience inherent to natural life. “Visualisation of the natural laws and patterning that hold people in relationship with Earth, as well as the consequences of these unravelling, is my focus,” she tells Colossal. “I feel deeply about disconnections in human understanding and care of the natural world, which result in environmental crises”

Currently, Blake is working on metallic vessels for a solo show opening on October 20 at Canberra’s Grainger Gallery, in addition to sculptures for a group exhibition in Sydney later this fall. She has a few baskets, in addition to stitched pieces and other two-dimensional works, available in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects—which include drawing all of the world’s owl species—on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Fantastical Hybrid Characters by Toco-Oco Imagine the Mysteries of Human Nature

August 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Toco-Oco

Playfully curious, a troupe of hybrid characters dreamed up by the Brazil-based Toco-Oco (previously) has an inclination for the mythical. Figures sporting feathered suits and wolves cradling human heads are imbued with mystery, and together, the otherworldly cast becomes a metaphor for the varied, emotional, and sometimes bewildering nature of human existence. Toco-Oco, which is helmed by Lara Alcântara and Guilherme Neumann, sells prints and the small sculptures, which are made of wax, wood, and clay, in its shop, although the works sell out incredibly quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on Instagram for information about new releases.

 

 

 



Art

Discarded Tools, Scrap Metals, and Fabrics Form the Spirited Sculptures by Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh

August 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh, shared with permission

Artist Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh extends the life of broken tools, wooden handles, and scraps of fabric found in resale shops, stalls, and alleys. Utilizing chains for plumage or a long, steel blade for a beak, Yeganeh forms stylized animalistic assemblages of discarded materials, which he refers to as “flying garbages.” Conveying the awkward, jutting postures of birds or the broad stance of a bison, the spirited sculptures combine abstract components into lively, expressive characters.

Yeganeh is one part of Kasmeh, a Tehran-based studio where he works in collaboration with the artist Arman. You can follow their upcycled creatures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

In a Patterned Menagerie, Artist Anne Lemanski Stitches Printed Papers into Animal Forms

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Painted Wolf” (2019), copper rod, archival pigment print on paper, artificial sinew, 39 x 47 x 15 inches. All images by Steve Mann, © Anne Lemanski, shared with permission

Constellations, butterflies, and bold checkered prints overlay the animalistic forms by Anne Lemanski. Beginning with a copper armature, the North Carolina-based artist stretches vintage paper or patterns of scanned objects across a minimal metal form and stitches the edges together into a geometric patchwork.

Ranging from abstract shapes to illustrations and photos, the printed motifs evoke each character’s temperament, presence, and overall essence. “Stella Terra,” for example, is sheathed in white paper, and images of animals and objects speckle the ephemeral material similar to the spotted coat of the live Appaloosa counterpart. “My interest as of late has been pattern and color and the way it juxtaposes with the form when I take a three-dimensional object (like matches, toothpicks, or straws), make a new two-dimensional pattern with that object, then compose the two-dimensional pattern onto the three-dimensional form,” Lemanski says.

Some of the artist’s animals are on view in a group exhibition at Penland Gallery through September 17, and others are included in a forthcoming book devoted to North Carolina’s art culture. Find more of the ephemeral creatures on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Fennec Fox (Dog Star)” (2009), copper, ink on paper, artificial sinew, 17 1/2 x 14 x 12 inches

“Gaudy Sphinx” (2014), copper rod and paper, 7 x 16 x 13 inches

“Camoufleur” (2014), copper rod, vintage paper targets, epoxy, 17 1/2 x 15 x 8 1/2 inches

“Tigris” (2018), copper rod, archival print on paper, artificial sinew, epoxy, plastic, 64 x 61 x 30 inches

Detail of “Tigris” (2018), copper rod, archival print on paper, artificial sinew, epoxy, plastic, 64 x 61 x 30 inches

“Mink” (2021), copper rod, archival inkjet on paper, artificial sinew

“Stella Terra” (2022), copper rod, Mohawk cover board, inkjet print on paper, artificial sinew, 80 x 80 x 20 inches

“Jackrabbit” (2015), pigment print on paper, copper rod, 27 1/2 x 26 x 9 inches

 

 

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