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Thoughts about the meaning of modern ceramic pottery work June 9, 2009

Posted by Elena in ceramic, My research, pottery, Thoughts.
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I frequently find myself thinking about what should the work reflect to be able to leave its mark for future generations? Should it tell a story, or should it just be a satisfying form that cannot actually be attributed to any particular historical period? Should the artist even bother with telling a story in his work or should he just focus on visual impact/functionality of the piece?

I understand that for most artists it is a matter of personal preference and probably subconscious choice. But looking back at the long history of ceramic art, it seems that the most impressive and timeless pieces always tell a story. Most frequently they seem to refer to (and this is not meant to be all-inclusive):

            – biblical stories

            – mythological tales

            – historic events

            – fairy tales

            – everyday life and functions (like hunting; fishing; agriculture; social      events; functional craft; animals; plants; trade; etc.).

 So should I be inspired by modern politics in my pottery studio? Well… it would probably not be my first choice (maybe not even a second one). Biblical stories and fairy tales have been done and redone over and over, and unfortunately there aren’t so many new ones that make my heart sing. Some artists are evidently inspired by modern life and incorporate modern technology (such as neon lights; holograph; robotics; 3D printing, etc.) into their ceramic work quite successfully… and it seems to work for now. Only time will tell if it will still impress art lovers, say, in the next century, when who knows what other seemingly impossible technological creations will become a part of everyday life.

 So I guess I’ll continue to search for clues. But in the mean time I would be very interested to know what others think, or if they think about it at all.

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Comments»

1. Chris Mackey - June 23, 2009

I agree with you about telling stories in ceramics. Also i can empathise with you about not knowing what story to tell…sources of inspiration are hard to find. The old stories have been told and the new ones dont seem to fit too well into ceramic forms.

etrepakova - August 10, 2009

I just visited Fransis Bacon exhibition at the MMA. What striked me is that he actually never wanted to tell a story in his paintings (although there is so much he did tell nevertheless; whether it was on purpose or not – too late to find out). He admitted that the visual and emotional impact were the most important for him (and boy, did he succeed).


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