Slow Breath: Recent Works by Chris Gustin
March 25th -April 26th
Opening Reception Saturday March 28, 5-7pm
My work explores the vessel form on a human scale, taking simple pottery forms and jumping them up in scale as a vehicle for abstraction. Though my work only alludes to function through the context of the vessel, I am trying to make pots that speak to a "body" reference. This ”body” scale speaks on a subliminal level to the entire histories of our experience.
The surfaces inherent in wood firing that come as a result of the heat, flame, glaze and ash all add a sense of “skin” to the surface of the clay, giving it an almost organic sensibility that plays with the form. How that “skin” holds the interior space of the pot, and how I manipulate my forms "around" that space, constraining it, enclosing it, or letting it expand and swell, can allow analogy and metaphor to enter into the work.
I don't want my pots to conjure up a singular image for the viewer. By inviting the hand to explore the forms as well as the eye, I want to provoke numerous memories, recollection that has the potential to change from moment to moment, provoking connections that go past the intellectual to the innate. By using forms that evoke generosity, sensuality, fullness and humility, I am asking the viewer to make connections on a deeply personal level. This is what I depend on: the desire in all of us to reach out and touch, and by doing so, to trigger memory that is both felt and connected, memory that quietly waits to come to consciousness. This innate connection is for me the primal language of ceramic vessel form. It has the potential to reflect our universal human story, regardless of politics, culture or history.