one day, late in the afternoon...

The process of coiling and pinching clay gives volume and mass to my thoughts and is an integral part of my creative practice. The marks left in the surface are the indelible record of this method.  Through its material affordances, porcelain has an uncomplicated way of encoding the marks of my hands, storing those actions and recalling them to the world on its surface.   Material exploration assists in the construction of my perceptions of time, narrative and self through the juxtaposition of the tangible and permanent characteristics of clay with the ephemeral nature of light and shadow.  I am ultimately concerned with the exploration of humanistic ideas about presence, relationships, memory and mortality. 

Porcelain is a strong and dense, yet fragile material. Once it is fired, whether in shards or as a complete object, clay will never cease to be stone-like in its permanence. By re-creating objects from our everyday world, I am attempting to elevate ordinary things such as graters, pairs of goggles, and buckets to a position of aesthetic and emotional value. The process of coiling and pinching lends humanity to the surface of pieces that in ordinary life would be inert objects.

The functionality of my ceramic vessels is often ambiguous and the pieces and groupings serve as narratives surrounding the rituals of daily routine, often in and around the home.  I am interested in the casual distribution of objects as we move in a space though out the day. I create transient still lives that capture moments of communication and story telling, of community or solitude, that speak to our mood and general state of being, or convey gender or age. These groupings and objects tell our stories in a way similar to our memories-which can be vague or ambiguous and full of incongruous details. I create scenarios that conjure the familiar, but whose narratives recall instances of hesitation and uncertainty through the use of timeless utilitarian objects and their physical shadows.

I employ drawing to guide my three dimensional work. I use charcoal pastel to make drawings of my hand-built objects in order to consider the presence of these objects in a particular space. I translate shadows from a stack of dishes into a new form by taking advantage of the soft, smudgy qualities of chalk pastels, I erase the outlines of some objects, leaving a hint of contours and marks in order to magnify the idea of absence. The process of drawing assists in my exploration of the essence of everyday objects and the ethereal nature of what occurs in the atmosphere around them

My application of color through reflected light on a saucepan and cup, or a spray of fiber-optic strands in to a washtub, serves as an experiment in manipulating atmosphere and emotion or sparking memory.

Reminiscent of the traditional still life, these installations capture a moment of intimacy between everyday objects and their users; illustrating patterns of communication habits, story-telling and community.

-Kelly O'Briant