Ceramic art pieces in the “Creatures” exhibit at ArtStLouis

Photos and text by Robert Kokenyesi, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, Illinois, USA

From January 16 till February 18, 2016,  there was an all-media art exhibit in the ArtStLouis gallery in downtown St Louis.  The theme was “Creatures”, and there were many memorable pieces including paintings, photographs, creatures formed of textiles, and, of course, ceramics.  This gallery is easy to find, the space is used very well, and there’s even a coffee shop on the premises with tables and chairs.

The exhibit was well worth seeing in it’s entirety; here I focus on ceramic pieces only.  There were two as such;  I’ll show you both pieces below.  I took all the photos on site.

The first piece was about 8-10 inches tall scary-looking human form.  The title was “Promises”, the creation of Rhonda Choate.  She used porcelain paperclay and oils to make this.

Rhonda Choate: "Promises"
Rhonda Choate: “Promises”

Rhonda writes in her narrative: “This exhibit gave me the opportunity to take a whimsical look at the uniqueness of the human creature and translate it into clay.  The offering, the hidden promise, the mask, the stars, all reflect how humans relate to each another on a personal level. It is often comical.  This creature approaches with promise. It is the beginning of a story for each viewer to complete, which is the ultimate goal of this work.”

The second piece was made by me.  The tile was “Out of the Deep, II”.  I used white earthenware clay, mid-fire glazes, glass, and pigments.  The piece was 11 inches long, and 4 inches wide, and placed on a spider mount for display.

Robert Kokenyesi: "Out of the Deep, II"
Robert Kokenyesi: “Out of the Deep, II”
Robert Kokenyesi: "Out of the Deep, II"
Robert Kokenyesi: “Out of the Deep, II”

This was my narrative for the “Out of the Deep, II:  “Many creatures stay hidden deep in the oceans. When these creatures emerge onto the surface , reality moves from the realm of improbable to the probable, from the unknown to the knowable.  This type of emergence impress us enough to give names to the new reality, like Scylla of the Greeks, the Yamato-no-Orochi of Japanese, the Gunakadeit of the Tlingit, the Kraken of Norvegians, or the Jormungandr of the Norse.  We are humbled and petrified when the unlikely event unfolds, and the strands of dark blue sea coalesce into a shape that we haven’t seen, and the ocean parts as if it was following the command of an almighty power.  Naturally, we ask if the creature is going to attack or leave us alone, if it’s observing us or ignoring us, if it’s here to stay, or leaving soon.   But, at least for a few seconds, time stands still.”

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