As a ceramic artisan, I principally create functional ware, using the local flora as an accentuated backdrop to Japanese inspired designs. I am interested in the impact artifacts have on the maker and the beholder, the question of time, relativity of identities and connections through borrowed memories. And looking back, I suppose the latter interest was present in my research on the biographical construct of individuals in political conflicts during my sociology studies at the University of Strasbourg.
Individual and collective memories are intimately intertwined, and so are memory and identity. Building a representative image of oneself in a world filled with pre-conceived ideas and constructed collective memories is a challenge that we share with our ancestors throughout the millennia. We are obssessed with defining individuals through impressions and relative generalisation.
History is geared towards universal statements resulting in orthodox views of the individuals through the trending of event records and the recovery and analysis of material culture (archaeology). But how can we recall aspects of someone’s life through holding a vessel they owned, or decrypting a memory scratched on the surface?
I am currently exploring the question of identity and connection with a series of pitfired pots each inscribed with a story, a memory. The pots are designed to look like archaeological finds. Marked heavily and dramatically by the firing process, the pots mix colour, form and lustre with language, and also a sense of the smell of the pit fire. They explore the essence of moments through time and clay.