Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page. There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.
The 2018 Shapes of Influence biennial, nationally juried ceramic art exhibit took place in the gallery of the Springfield Art Association in Springfield, Illinois from August 3 through September 1, 2018.
These pictures show you the reception area which is normally used as the administrative office, library, and informal party room. The picture on the right is showing the gallery space from the opening night.
The Call for Entry
2018 Shapes of Influence is a biennial exhibition of the best in contemporary ceramics. Open to all artists working with ceramics as the primary medium. This year the work will be selected by Simon Levin.
The Ceramic Art Pieces
This post looks at the figurative sculptural pieces.
Dan states on this gallery page: “My artwork, an amalgam of vessel and industrial artifact, is full of irony-handsome replicas of manmade objects, soft clay renderings of metal objects aged and impotent reminders of a once powerful age. The toil and gasoline cans represent the machinery that once threatened to devalue the work of human beings. Now they seem just like the hardworking humans they served – stoic, dignified, straightforward, but plumb wore out.”
These two pieces represent his “Crucible” series, which is related to his “Artifact” series. The size of #20 is a bout two feet long!! Kenneth states on his web site: “An artifact is defined as an object that is created through human ingenuity. And that object, as artifact, is inherent within a cultural or historical context. Within this current body of work I am exploring the integration of actual and abstracted machine parts into homologous interrelationships. Metaphorically, my sculptures reflect aspects of these interrelations through: balance and instability, domination and submission, tension and ease, opposition and compromise. It is through this dynamic of push and pull, give and take, that the spontaneity and structuring of these interactions takes place.”
While the thumbmarks are visible inside the closeup photo of this sink, even the plumbing is made of ceramics. On her web site Jenny writes: “I strive to create artwork that is intimate by acknowledging a complexity of emotions that exist in a domestic context, specifically the comfort and restriction of kinship. I explore this idea by recreating objects from the home that draw nostalgic associations and allow the exploration of distant memories. Memories fade and fluctuate over time. My ceramic work intentionally portrays evidence of the making process, allowing for the malleability of clay to depict time, movement, and human emotion. Making ceramic work is a part of my relationship with the physical world. ” This piece pretty much wins the most unusual piece in this exhibit.
On his web site David states: “The human form has always been a major element in my work. Integrating images of people and blending them with abstract forms has been a long lasting direction in my art. I strive to create a feeling of timelessness and a strong emotional element in each piece. I also like to have a bit of mystery in my art, so don’t be surprised if you can’t figure out exactly what is going on in the sculpture. My work is imaginative, thought provoking, and surrealistic at times, so the viewer has to make some of their own conclusions. “
I liked the color, the size (about 3 feet tall), and the mixing of abstract elements at the bottom third oft he sculpture.
On Kourtney’s web site, this piece is part of the Memory Series I. She states:”My sculptures are an examination of the effects of memory, perception, and the passage of time on my familial relationships. The references I make to the past contrast with expressions and gestures that speak to the present. In this tension, there is an attempt to reconcile the current state of a relationship with previous experiences.”
The support for the female figure is a cone of blue/metal colored assault weapon bullets. Talk about tension in a piece!!
While I couldn’t find his own web site, I found many biographical sites where his life’s work has been described. Verne Funk was the artist who in the Midwest has embraced the California Funk style. As with the Funk movement, his art embodied humor, occasionally eroticism. He has been drawing on white clay, and making “caught in the act” sculptures like drooling or sweating. The half-immersed heads have been the base for many creative explorations.
On her web site Jennifer states:”By exploiting the fragility and translucency of porcelain, I employ the process of casting on metaphorical terms. To me, a mold creates a memory of an object, picking up the traces of its use and history. Clay has the ability to contain this memory, creating a ghost-like membrane that divides presence from absence. It is this fine line between reality and memory that my work explores. I hope that my work is able to communicate the preciousness of time and the importance of our memories. “
So, what we see in this piece are four hands and forearms cast into translucent porcelain. These are life-sized casts, and create a head-turner experience when you see the real thing.