Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL 62035, USA
Between August 5 and September 3, 2016, the art exhibit titled “Shapes of Influence, Contemporary Ceramics” took place in the M.G. Nelson Family Gallery of the Springfield Art Association. The gallery is built right next to the famous Edwards Place, a 19th century building that housed many generations of the Edwards family.
What a resume, and a list of accomplishments!!! And then, of course, is the treat to see her works in real life. In her artist’s statement she explains that her focus is a simple abstract form. A form that has a brad and ambiguous reference, a form that are perplexing due to their many allusions.
I thought of this piece as the shape of electron orbitals around an atom, and also as spoon.
Yewen intends to tell stories of time, water, crack lines using ceramic paper and other objects. On her website she has many collages that use ceramic paper and papers of different colors. While this piece is untitled, from her statement it looks that she was exploring the “Time” theme here by using overlapping layers as marks of days.
Matt intends to create tension between two types of forms in his works. One is the organic forms where textures glazes indicate the result of struggle for survival. The other is the machines form where slipcast pieces, resin panels indicate the efficiency.
The organic forms are the oval stone or sponge-like parts, contrast with the black beam-like structures.
Emily intends to represent the opposing feelings of sentiment and uncertainty when it comes to our food consumption. She states that by featuring very familiar objects such as food items in an unstable or uncertain environment (look at the string suspending the food items stuck together in the “Grocery Ornament” piece, or the suspension of the bunch of hot dogs in the “All you can eat hot dog plate” piece). Through such precarious presentations she wants to cast a shadow of the doubt on the familiar.
Gina’s works serve as her archeological study of her personal journey. In her works she references the tension between the natural and man made. Her organic forms intend to reach out and relate to the observer
On her web site Audry states that just like plants and flowers have changed their appearance to ensure better chances for propagation, floral designs have also been modified to be appealing to customers in a particular culture and age. She carves the plant patterns from memory, and adds her interpretation during the process.
This picture and the one below are of the same piece. The thin ceramic sheets are slumped onto the surface of light-emitting rods. The rods are connected to a timer, and the color of the emitted light changes continuously.
Mark believes that one needs to venture outside safe boundaries of one wants to see what’s really possible with that medium. His works are linked to ceramic’s past, but he is stretching the chemical limits of ceramics to open the potential to a new ceramic aesthetics.
Helen is inspired by the mysteries of nature, and by the existence of the hybrids of cellular life and organic forms. She creates fluid movement to illustrate the cellular, and she incorporates glass, clay or bronze to capture the beauty of the organic form.
The main portion of her pieces are porcelain; the added bright colors reflect the celebration of the pursuit of life, and the beauty of nature.