Statement | Biography | Curriculum Vitae

Home | About | Gallery | Publications | Media | News/Blog | Contact

 
Statement

As an artist I contribute a distinct vision of social issues through narrative sculpture. My installations combine ceramic figures with digital photo montages composed within imagined spaces. The conceptual underpinnings of my work have ranged from human consciousness, to nostalgia, and currently my concerns for environmental impacts to the food we consume. Each ceramic figure is a real person who has been chosen to reveal through bodily enactment the meaning of the sculpture. The sculptures portray the female as a young adult to indicate a time of transition and potential. The feminine body symbolizes the intuitive. By using fired ceramic I link the human form to an historic material that speaks simultaneously of fragility and timelessness.

Earlier installations reflect an observation that spiritual understanding is a human capability largely unfulfilled in today’s society.  The porcelain figurine and the statuary traditions, in my “Series in White”, reference girlhood nostalgia. Misconceptions of youth and illusions of perfection are addressed through sculpted young women and photo decal images that echo memories from a time past.

Spurred by environmental and health concerns my current studio practice combines research from science with art. I have an explicit interest in environmental impacts to the land and waterways. Through this new work I hope to contribute to a growing awareness of human health issues and to inspire care for the natural world that sustains us.

My sculpting process is varied and complex using many techniques available in both ceramic and sculpture studios. Many of the figures are composed using assembled castings taken from a life model. I use the casting as a structural beginning. I than free-hand sculpt gesture and expression to heighten the human presence. Some figures are modeled solid, then hollowed. Smaller sculptural elements are modeled as prototypes for molds or at times molds are made from found forms. I use silicone, polyurethane, and or plaster for mold-making. The molds are personally designed and built for press-molding moist clay and for casting ceramic slip. I use a full repertoire of surfacing and painting options to create color, texture and image on the ceramic forms. This includes brushing and airbrushing underglaze color, working with low fire and high fire glazes, with china paints, lusters, and china paint decals. I also use acrylic paint, house paint, and other cold worked methods to achieve the surface and color I desire. Photographs are taken for imagery to be used in the photomontages. I use Photoshop software to construct my photomontages which are then printed as china paint decals, or on paper, backlit materials, and most recently on fabric.

FacebookLinkedInBlog

© copyright 2014 nan smith. all rights reserved