images from 2012 BFA portfolio
photos by chase grover
Since birth I have had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or thickening of the walls of the heart. Over time, the heart’s ability to function slowly declines. Like many other health conditions, there is a wearing down of the entire body, physically and mentally. It is a natural response to repair, contain, and prevent the decay of our bodies, as well as aspects of our daily lives. At some point, the modifications begin to become absurd in many ways. This absurdity is what I portray with my ceramics forms.
I begin with two wheel-thrown domes assembled into an egg-shaped form. From there I manipulate it by moving, carving, and adding to the body. While working I decide what will be “wrong” with the form (the representation of decay) and decide what is a sufficient “repair.” The final form is a palm sized, clay object that is a reminder of my prior physical limitations and strength. The forms also resemble human organs with their size, the use of texture, and their color. The additional geometric or metal elements are representations of different forms of modification and repairs.
The forms are meant to be ambiguous with reference to the human body so the audience can associate them with what is already in their visual vocabulary. Many of the forms are shown as protecting, holding, and containing smaller forms. Those forms represent the protection of the pure, of all that is still well in our lives. Other modifications show what we are willing to do to remain “normal.” When finished, they portray absurd and excessive repairs, which represent the extreme situations we go through to keep a life or live life as desired.