Another Chat with Wendy: The Decision

‘Why do you want to do figurative?’ Wendy asked, perplexed.  Gave her one of those wishy-washy ‘Just because’ answers.  To be honest, I don’t have a real reason for figurative work beyond the fact it’s a progression from what I’ve already done in clay.

The Facts

1 I’ve never wanted to do purely mimetic figures such as Tip Toland, nor the fragmented figure such as Emma Rodgers, or the whimsical such as Annie Peaker.

Not sure what direction to take with it, really.

2 The ceramics I enjoy viewing are abstract. My Likes and Dislikes ‘likes’ were Halima Cassell (featured image) and James Oughtibridge (below).

3 I’ve booked a 3 day course this month  – with a figurative ceramicist?  No,  James Oughtibridge (can’t wait!)

4 As Micaela pointed out, I’m enjoying trying out new shapes and techniques.

5 As Wendy says, I have a ‘real talent’ for it.

6 She can see ‘a lot of mileage’ in it.  Perhaps some large sculptures…

7 Considering Michael Brennand-Wood’s ‘gap in the market’ approach, there’s a definite gap in the sculptural form market that Fine Artist’s used to fill.  I think the general public enjoy artworks with form they can relate to/touch, and they admire skills.  When FA eschewed form, material specificity and embraced the purely conceptual, it left the way open for ceramicists. Maybe this is why there has been an upsurge in figurative ceramics in the last 20 years. And a blurring of the divide between FA and AA/Ceramics – helped by Grayson, of course. Brennand-Wood was proud to have been offered ‘artist space’ at the Whitworth, and to have shown with Boltanski. Maybe this is the reason Halima Cassell and Merete Rasmussen have ventured into bronzes. It will be interesting to hear what she says about it on Friday – looking forward to her Artist Talk.

My Decision

I’m going to follow Dave and Wendy’s advice and develop abstract sculptural form. I’m learning new skills all the time and I’m enjoying it enormously. Certainly until May.  The idea of making large sculptural forms appeals greatly.  And I’ve already have some ideas for the figure based on what I’m doing now.  May be I’ll introduce the figure later, coming at it from a different angle. Happy bunny!


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