My ‘Artists in Residences’ in Japan have influenced and affected my outlook on the landscape and our environment in a dramatic and liberating way. The Japanese culture, so different to the European culture I grew up in, made my senses receptive to the powerful energy that exists in Japanese contemplative gardens. Large and small; dense and sparse; light and shadow interfuse in a vivid interplay.
Since then I have worked on a series of landscapes in porcelain. The white clay gives me the freedom to stretch the boundaries between large and small. Using line, form and movement, I have examined and searched for ways to mould the energy that exists in the diversity of the landscape: in a small garden; the vast billowing landscape that continues beyond the horizon and the secret, inaccessible landscape beneath the surface of the water.
The landscape we contemplate is reinforced by the surface that reaches the eye, and movement, directions, nuances, textures and light all contribute to our individual preception of the landscape, real and surreal. I have focused on making landscapes as installations. An organic free growth arises from different combinations of clays, fire and glaze qualities.
Underwater landscapes, corals and urchins, flowing surfaces of growth in frozen motion portray the slow ceramic process which is necessary for contemplation and new approaches. Porcelain landscapes, fragments of nature, hills, depths, outgrowths, openings and shadows can be seen or felt. The plasticity of the porcelain clay and the opportunities of expression it yields, fascinate me. The firm but delicate porcelain has an inner strength that intices me to capture organic motion, the bubbling of life, caught in a fragment of a second.
The dry glazes which I like to experiment with are a protest against the pure whiteness of the porcelain surface. They express contradictory meanings – they are both repellent and enticing, warm and cold. They absorb light, but also express their own light and darkness. The forms suggest an upward movement, a growth towards the sky. From above they suggest marine life below the surface, or maybe a map of life itself...