Eruptions expands on my investigation of felled trees and forest fragments, collected, studied, transformed, and memorialized in porcelain. I apply an archaeobotanical lens to the biological imperative of existence – my ceramic works stand in for what once was and become artifacts of the metamorphosis and history of a living organism.
At the installation’s centre stands my Pyre series, which makes reference to funerary rituals and the important historical role ceramics has played in providing for the afterlife, vessels being the most common objects found at ancient burial sites. The growths sprouting from the tree-forms, or contained by them, suggest vessels, fungus, seed pods, alluding to history, decay, and regeneration. The micro crisis of survival reflects the macro. Current environmental catastrophes such as deforestation, wildfires, and drought destroy trees and forest growth. The ceramic forms in my installation represent earth, body, tree, vessel, fuel, fire, and pyre simultaneously. Beaded, root-like Lifelines emerging from the pyre forms provide a measure of optimism suggesting networks of support, conduits for nourishment, and the potential for passage to a new life.
Elsewhere plumes emerge from porcelain tree fragments in my Eruptions series. These vessel-like, apertured forms reference recumbent bodies, earth forms or even volcanoes. The plumes’ ghostly counterparts hang on the wall as ethereal images, having been released from their earthbound hosts.
With exposure to extreme heat, my forms too are forever altered, and through the irreversible process of firing, they unwittingly create their own memorials when clay attains the permanent yet fragile state of ceramic.