Saturday, February 2, 2008

Megan: February 2008

These first three are slip cast and salt fired.

Untitled, press molded, reduction fired
Table Press molded and handbuilt, wood/soda fired
Seabirds Press molded and handbuilt, wood fired
Rocker, Same as above
World Below, Press molded, soda fired
Cushion, wood/soda fired

Artist Statement

Drawing inspiration from natural, created, and imaginary landscapes, my artwork investigates the physical and emotional interactions between inner and outer spaces.

My work embodies my contradictory desires for freedom and structure. Thus far, adulthood has proved to be a balancing act between my need for autonomy, adventure and possibility, and my longings for community, comfort and nurturance. The result has been an uneasy truce in which home is a fluid concept, and I find comfort equally in the arms of a friend and in the wide expanse of the sky.

The instability and transience of my life have created an appreciation of structure and order, which I impose on my work through geometric form and patterns. The confluence of domestic and natural imagery reflects my uneasy relationship with feminine domesticity, as well as my reverence for the natural world. Windows and fences are dominant images in my work; they serve as boundary and opening, simultaneously inviting and gated. A window references insight and a yearning for new vistas; a fence provides both security and limitation. By creating interior spaces that are inaccessible, I explore the elusiveness of intimacy while also invoking feelings of curiosity and wonder.

I aim to define a personal vision of home through my artwork, and to create spaces that provide challenge, intrigue and solace. I aspire to a better understanding of the inner workings of my consciousness and my surroundings.


Hi everyone,

Here's what I've been up to for the past few months. The majority of my time has been spent on the sculptural work, but I also have been enjoying playing with the slipcast pieces.

I just moved to Sacramento, and am embarking on a semester as a special student at Sac State. I would love your comments on these pieces, and also your thoughts on directions for the months to come. As well, I welcome your ideas about which pieces to bring to NCECA. Thanks for your time; see you in PA!!!


Kip said...

Hey Megan – Wow, I really like the changes you’ve made to your artist statement. You’ve got some great concrete explanations of what you are making and why – I don’t think there are any things I would change at this point. I really love the sentence: The result has been an uneasy truce in which home is a fluid concept, and I find comfort equally in the arms of a friend and in the wide expanse of the sky. I am also intrigued by the idea of creating “inaccessible interior spaces”. I definitely feel that curiosity in the third piece from the top. Do you ever hide anything on the inside? What a surprise that would be for someone if the piece were ever to break…

In my initial reaction to this work, there were a number of things that popped to mind. In some, I felt an immediate connection to stones worn smooth with time. In others, a reference to Asian art (the World Below) and in the Table I felt a sense of twisted, overheated metal. Your glaze palate certainly references nature, but I wonder if there is a way you could pull in more of your struggle with female domesticity? The flowers certainly seem to do this to some extent – could you imagine putting them behind your fence imagery? Or perhaps introducing some more typically feminine colors into your earthy tones?

The slipcasting seems to be working well for you. I like the recurring fencing in all of these pots, how it can become a common thread bridging the functional and sculptural work. I know you’ve had cups with holes through them in the past, have you ever done any of the inaccessible spaces on functional pots? I could see a window into a hollow foot of a cup being a possible way to bring this idea to your functional work. Those intense, black spaces really captivate my attention - I’d love to see them find their way into your pots.

Okay, that’s it for now. Great to see some of your latest work! Good luck on your newest adventure as a special student…

PS I’ll be posting my work this weekend, ladies. I promise!!

mel said...

i love the sculptural work.
there is so much more clarity to me in those forms and in your artist statement at this time than there was last time. its like there was a resolution reached in your heart or something. i wonder if it feels that way to you.
to me, the strongest pieces are rocker, world below, and seabirds. i really, really want to see seabirds up close. i opened the image up big on my computer, but just can't get a grasp of what is going on. please bring this piece to nceca. in all of these pieces the depth of surface goes way beyond what the kiln is doing to it. in each piece both form and surface are wonderfully referential to a number of natural things. i think of elephant skin and the human body and tree bark, and world below is almost the surface of a pond to me. i think it is just that- the perfect balance between a reference to something specific and an ambiguous, yet familiar, form that makes it so beautiful.
the spaces and angles are both as intimately comfortable as my body and as open as a new landscape at the same time.
i can't say i'm as into the slip cast stuff. i guess they just don't seem as deeply and uniquely megan. they are beautiful and functional, but are just dwarfed by your new sculptural pieces. have i mentioned how much i like them? :)
i feel at a loss for constructive criticism at this time. i'm glad you're making pots at sac so you can let what you just made sculpturally stew and develop in your mind. but i also can't wait to see where these go next. they are very powerful to me.

critial ceramics said...

hi megan,

juliane here. these pieces seem very polished; i can see a lot of growth from the last body of work you showed me when you visited northfield. both the slip cast and sculptural work feel less heavy and more refined. thus, i do feel them as more feminine; i am reacting to your softer, less angular lines. i also see the pieces as more mysterious. they are mysterious because the window reference is less obvious - no criss cross markings reference windows, just a few small, cutouts that leave dark square(s) (in untitled and world below).

i like the smooth and pillowy feel of the sculptural pieces. some pieces seem more filled with air (world below), and others feel more deflated (table and cushion). it makes me think, who sat on that table to leave that mark? what was on the cushion to leave that trace/imprint? in this way, these last 2 pieces remind me of something leaving a subtle gesture behind...

i really like the four ridges on the underside of seabird. for me, it calls to mind armor or some kind of shell... cushion has a nice cantalever affect, almost like it is going to scoop something up. i am curious as to the scale of these sculptural pieces?

i do enjoy your slip cast cups; the play of the fence relief with the splashes of slip and glaze is nice. i wonder if you could get the feet to be even taller and more pronounced? even though the fence pattern works well, i am wondering if you have thought of other motifs that you could integrate into your surfaces?

i can't wait to see this work in person at nceca!


ruth said...

Although i have seen these pieces though the entire process it is nice to see them from this new perspective. I am very glad i was able to watch your new ideas evolve. I am very excited to see where you go from here because you have already done so many great leaps in just the past few months. Of all your landscapes my favorite is the one where you put the white birds into the surface it adds another dimension.

critial ceramics said...

Nagem-wow! i think it was a perfect match to have you and kip post together, you both seem have made wonderful strides in your work! I looked at your images and had some intial reactions, and then i read your artist statement and rereviewed your work with understanding. #1 i think your artist statement is very clear concise statement that reflects your work.

critial ceramics said...

the slip cast cup/vase and bowl form, while visually appealing, left me with the littlest respones of wonder/emotion. the third pressed molded piece immediatley spoke to me, i love things that rock, or are capable of movement. I also wanted to pick it up and look around the form for a bit of hidden treasure or even explaination. the table form to me appears as if it needs further resolve possible in making many multiples. Both seabirds and rockers i think are wonderful. i would love to see them at the show, so i can touch them and regard them similar to my favorite smooth rock from the day at the lake.(lake superior not whitefish) i am really hoping they contain both smooth and sharp lines/edges World below: i found the white flower shapes to be a bit distracting, but i also really liked the bright whiteness they brought to the top surface. I felt the glaze/surface color did not really enchances this shape. it didn't connect as well(having trouble putting this into words) i like the cut outs on side they gave the feel of something hidden or just out of sight, or because of there straight lines something behind bars under the worlds surface. i couldn't get the last image to appear on my screen.? agian, i thought your artist statement really gave me something to reflect on while viewing your work. Acinom (glad to hear your move was succesful!)