Ceramic art pieces (Part 5 of 5) in the 5th Central Times Ceramic exhibit at Bradley University

Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist at Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, USA

The 5th Central Time Ceramics art exhibit took place from February 24 to March 25, 2016 in the art galleries of Bradley University.  This is part 5 of the 5-part report about the exhibited pieces;   I’ll look at wall-attached abstract and figurative sculptural pieces.    Part 1 included conventional plates/platters, and a video presentation;  Part 2 included bowls, vases and teapots;  Part 3 included figurative sculptural pieces;  Part 4 included abstract sculptural pieces.

Wall-attached abstract pieces

"Reach, Stretch, Droop" by Christina Warczecha, Sycamore, IL
“Reach, Stretch, Droop” by Christina Warczecha, Sycamore, IL

This piece is composed of more than a dozen ceramic pieces attached to the wall along a horizontal line.  The title largely describes the variety of shapes.  As she states: “Clay acts as collaborator in my studio practice, a malleable material often determining its own treatment. The connection to the medium, its history, and its plasticity drive my work. I strive to create a balance between my planning and preparations and the accidental and incidental occurrences of the clay process. The character of clay can change, both in forming and in firing, and while experience allows for some certainty, unpredictable incidents often occur. I encourage these instances as they allow for a constant evolution in design.”



"Bloodline" by Paul Northway, San Antonio, TX
“Bloodline” by Paul Northway, San Antonio, TX

I couldn’t find anything specific about Paul’s work on the web. One snippet informs us that “Paul’s ceramics pieces reference and express personal ideas of identity, time and place”.






"Soft Machine" by Joseph Madrigal, Decorah, IA
“Soft Machine” by Joseph Madrigal, Decorah, IA



So, you’re asking where is the ceramics in this piece?  Yes, there’s some; at the end of the cloth hose, and the hanging end of the same hose.  Then, there’s a clamp and a piece of wood. In Jospeh’s words. he is “focused on material explorations orbiting around clay and ceramic processes.  My aim is to find moments of shift, slippage and compression through material and conceptual relationships.”





"Anastomosis Noggin" by Angela Dieffenbach, Chicago, IL
“Anastomosis Noggin” by Angela Dieffenbach, Chicago, IL

These two pieces are by the same artist, and the connection is pretty amazing.  Angela’s inspiration comes from scientific experiments.  As she states “research based sculptures focus on the intersection of science and art with particular interest in strange and peculiar experiments and medical treatments.  Like [those based on] the hygiene hypothesis theory. One of the newer ways doctors are trying to cure people is by prescribing them different parasites and I’ve been following the progression of which parasites they’re using.


"Hepar II" by Angela Dieffenbach, Chicago, IL
“Hepar II” by Angela Dieffenbach, Chicago, IL

The word hepar relates to the liver which is pictures here in green.  At the bottom side of the liver there’s a duct-shaped anatomical structure, and that’s probably the connection here to a science experiment.






"Squeeze Me" by Theresa O"Halloran, Peoria, IL
“Squeeze Me” by Therese O”Halloran, Peoria, IL


The pieces I found on the internet by this artists were all about fragmented faces in ceramics.  This piece may represent a new direction, or a fun experiment.








"Untitled" by Brianna Deterling, Nacogdoches, TX
“Untitled” by Brianna Deterling, Nacogdoches, TX

This piece looked at first just like a ceramic tree bark. While Brianna derives her pieces “from memories of a childhood spent playing in the woods of rural Wisconsin”, the process of creating the piece is just as important to her as the outcome.  “Celebrating the natural qualities of clay, I strike the objects with a stick, trowel on smooth and coarse ceramic materials, and alter the slab-built and thrown forms to best exhibit the expressive capabilities behind process.  My artistic integrity involves inventing vessels and sculptural constructions in search of alternative truths and values.   I avoid specific narrative contents and leave the interpretation of the work up to the observer.”


"I'll Know It When I See It" by Marguerite Hogue, Ruston, LA
“I’ll Know It When I See It” by Marguerite Hogue, Ruston, LA


I couldn’t find anything about this piece.  It is intriguing, as on the shelf there are ceramic shapes wrapped with some type of string.







"Formations , Corner Piece" by Anastasia Calvert, Peoria, IL
“Formations , Corner Piece” by Anastasia Calvert, Peoria, IL


I couldn’t find out any details about this piece.  So, this could be a process-driven creation where the narrative is unnecessary.  The construction is unusual in that each individual black/grey half discs is attached to the wall directly.





Wall-attached figurative pieces


"Portal Series: Tumult" by Catherine Wiesener, Mahomet, IL
“Portal Series: Tumult” by Catherine Wiesener, Mahomet, IL

This piece is a dinner plate-sized round rim with  finely sculpted and glazed porcelain inside.  In Catherine’s words: ” examination of nature “sculpted” within man-made spaces.  The portal is a gate or a window to gaze out of our constructed space or its inverse which gazes back upon ourselves.  They become metaphors for the mind and emotions.”  To me a famous woodcut comes to mind, the “Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Katsushika Hokusai.




"Viscera No. 1" by Rebecca Hamlin Green, Owensboro, KY
“Viscera No. 1” by Rebecca Hamlin Green, Owensboro, KY

This wall-attached piece has beeswax covering the lower third of the ceramic puppies.   She intends to portray dualitiesd like old and the new, comfort and anxiety, benefit and detriment, fantasy and reality.  In her own words  “any object or material becomes helpful in setting up the arena of juxtaposition and when used metaphorically, helps to further emphasize my observations to the viewer. My use of the forms of domesticated animals, i.e. dogs, bees, sheep, as well as domestic objects and environments, calls into question the notions surrounding how/why we act to control our lives through this domestic identity.”










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