Artist's Statement on the body of work titled 'Throwing Lines'
Water is rivers, seas, 70% of a human body, rain, hydrogen and oxygen, it distorts and refracts the perception of objects when immersed in it, it bends light and is prone to extreme mood swings both gentle and violent. These contradictions in the nature of water are what excite and infuse every aspect of my work from the conception to the making and I try to recreate this tension through a dramatic visual experience.
Lao-Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher said, 'It is written the water that flows into the earthenware vessel takes on its form.'
One of many ideas was to subvert this so that the reverse was evident, i.e. that it might be the vessel that took on the form of the water itself. Thus I started experimenting with polythene, a material easily transformed in shape and form through the insertion of water inside its walls. This analysis led to a fascination with saturation, volume and fullness, and with its other extremes of empty, dehydrated, cracked and dry.
Another point of focus during the development of the work was to associate water with a sensuality and lightness of silk or such like material. I also often distort the throwing shapes to accentuate folds and shadows, which have been filled, for example, with paper to act as a ballast when the form is caved in.
The spraying of various two tones of slips emerged from a need to define and highlight the various shapes and throwing lines further because it was important to convey a softness and sumptuousness not always easily expressed through ceramics. However, recently I have come to realise that these visual effects might have been borne from a fascination with nature and how it sometimes deals with colour. Driving through a landscape of rolling hills with newly emerging crops of wild flowers one can see how the colours can often hum amongst the dense green, again accentuated further by the tractor lines showing up the contours of the land.
Throwing for me has become the best way to express qualities of a spiritual and almost ethereal nature. It never ceases to amaze me that what starts off as a lump of clay and a bucket of water becomes something that, by stretching out through my fingers, develops lines and postures and characteristics not altogether in my control; as the clay becomes thinner, its form becomes more translucent, like a sheet of silk redefined by that which it hides and envelops. At its most vulnerable every touch becomes evident, no matter how subtle, and the pot often gives the impression of being caught in a frozen state or movement in time-preserved in aspic for all to see.