Though I have enjoyed all of the projects that I’ve been given to work on this semester in Ceramics I, this would be my favorite. Mostly because it allows me to continue to explore ideas and imagery that I’ve been working with in other media: bone forms as a visual language to be arranged in ways I see fit, the way Chinese painters would arrange an ideal landscape. With past works I’ve worked off of my actual bone collection, where this piece differs is that i’m working entirely from memory. I started collecting bones when I was 7 or 8. It started with fossils, but my parents got me this fantastic book called the Evolution Book that goes through Earth’s history and has fun projects for kids to do for each time period. One of the projects was collecting osteological specimens by burying dead animals and then digging them up later and cleaning the bones. It is a very awesome hands-on comparative anatomy lesson. Also a great way to fertilize flowerbeds…My parents encouraged me to do this and would buy me stuff from Skulls Illustrated for birthday and xmas gifts. So before long I had all kinds of skeletons and skulls to draw from and analyze: they are such amazing objects that have a wide variety of textures and curves and i’ve been obsessed with them ever since.
So, with this new project I’m working with how tactile clay is and working from my muscle memory of what bones can be: taking all the curves, crevices, textures completely from memory and making a sort of bone landscape. I want the viewer to explore it and feel something similar to how I feel when I am examining a bone. I want them to think of coral, of how natural things organize themselves, of their own skeleton, of armor, of all sorts of things.
This is just the beginning of it, it’s going to get far more baroque and overgrown. Also it’s a wall piece and will be about 2′ x 3′ when done.