It begins in a fall
The creation of vessels with clay reflects the creation of things with language. In each object the potter makes, the potter’s hand is left behind in the residue of its decisions and actions upon the object’s surface. Both language and ceramics, as tools of creation, make tangible and stable what otherwise exists as free and fluid. Where the rough nuances of reality are burned away in words, the clay’s rough self is melted, hardened, and made permanent in ceramic. Old mistakes are left behind and new mistakes appear.
To recreate a ceramic vessel in another material is to speak the same words in another language, to feel what changes and what stays the same. The way of language’s things is in negotiation, trading and finding what is gained and what remains lost. Language functions to articulate and define. However, a word cannot fully encompass all facets of the thing to which it refers. A ceramic vessel carries the potential not only to release, but to withhold. The word, too, withholds.
Exhibition view: It begins in a fall, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland (2016).
View exhibition webpage
Interview, Ready Steady Learn, 25 October, Auckland