All pieces featured here are from the Harder Hall Exhibition in Alfred University, and all were made by Alfred University students in 2016.
Uncle Svend’s Duck, Ceramic, 2016 – This first sculpture embodies exactly what it means to be ‘figurative’ because it both represents a real world duck, while presenting itself in a more approximate way. We all know it is a duck, however it does not need to be realistic to achieve this likeness and thus, it is figurative. Through the abstraction of form, this piece of ceramic is able to invoke popular perceptions of ‘duckness’ to create something that is more impactful than reality.
Crosshatch, Porcelain and Thread, Danielle Furia, 2016 – Here is an example of a sculpture which focuses heavily on points, lines, and planes. It does so by allowing itself to be presented as a wireframe, detailing it’s grid-like structure. Each one of the squares is indeed a plane, which can be broken down into lines and even further into points. These are the building blocks of all forms, from which all other shapes arise.
Grand Canyon, Ceramic and Terra Sigillata, Danielle Furia, 2016 – This piece puts great attention to both rhythm and balance by presenting a field of swarming shells. These shells appear to dance around the square area in which they exist, and routinely crowd on-top of each other, giving the impression that they are extremely energized. As well, the warm color palette invokes thoughts of fire which is very much a moving force.
Disfigured Esteem, Ceramic, Caroline Zimmerli, 2016 – This organic, tubular sculpture reaches out into the space around it, spreading upwards to carry as much volume as possible. Here, volume is a element to be captured, and this sculpture aims to do just that. As well, it’s intricate entanglement draws attention to it’s form, giving it the illusion of being larger and with a greater volume.
Projection, Stoneware and Projection, Guo Cheng, 2016 – Here, the use of scale change is very apparent, considering how the background is a blown up abstracted representation of the sphere and slabs in the foreground. This technique provides the otherwise benign shapes an aura of importance and stature. By abstracting these shapes, Cheng leads us to consider that these scaled up representations are changed on some level different than the original.
Object Language, Wood, 40 x 32″, 2016 – Modular design is represented through this work of art, considering how they fit together much like puzzle pieces and can be interchanged at will. This is an extremely valuable asset for exhibition, and gives Object Language a feeling of versatility which inspires faith in its creator.
Our Constructs, Clay and Ceramic, Erin Blackwell, 2016 – This sculpture features multiple loosely connected wires and tubes, leaving plenty of room for the space of the room to fill in the gaps. Leaving this sort of space gives an impression of vulnerability, as well it helps to allow the viewer to connect with the art by leaving zones for perceptions to pass through.
Outbreak, Ceramic and Terra Sigillata, Danielle Furia, 2016 – The title ‘Outbreak’ implies that these circular shells are moving rapidly away from a central vertex. Their random sizes and imperfect shapes make them appear almost alive, shaking and vibrating. As well, movement arises from the bouncing of the viewer’s eye across this particle field. It’s frantic nature is reminiscent of buzzing insects flying in nonsensical paths.
Playground, Ceramic, Kendra Newell, 2016 – In order to give bricks a light-hearted, child-friendly guise, the use of color was heavily employed. Bright, highly saturated colors are splattered all over these bricks in a manner which looks as though children painted it themselves. The color is effective at showing us that with a positive enough coat of paint, absolutely anything could be deemed worthy for kids.
Plant, Ceramic Tile, 2016 – Without the embossed stone-like texture, this would be a much less interesting piece of art. By allowing those cavities to exist, the artist allows this piece to play to our sense of touch, which is a much undervalued sensation when compared to pure sight. This also lets light bounce off of the composition in a very appealing way.
Remnant, Wire and Wax, Mary Gasper, 2016 – Much similar to texture, the use of pattern can create a sensation of touch that helps the viewer interact with the work of art without physically contacting it. The hive-like pattern presents this sculpture as a representation of busy, compacted organic forms, such as the society of a bee. It’s emptiness might also suggest a collapse of natural order, or an indication that the structure is metaphorically hollow.
Truly Meat, Paint on Wood, Isabella Duncan, 2016 – Here, mixed media is employed to embody hanging installations with the nature of modern meat products. The reflective material of the paint allows it to more easily stand in as a convincing flesh material. This coupled with the playful wooden installation encourages the viewer to interact with the reality of their food sources.
Residue, Masonite, Sarah Ambrose, 2016 – Conceptually, Sarah is presenting us with a visual metaphor of the jargon that is known as language. Normally, we only recognize slurs during verbal speech, so we never visually get a chance to recognize how strange it is. Sarah’s metallic sculptures give us just that opportunity, and it does serve to change perceptions on the supposed reliability and stability of language.
Time Array, Ceramic and Projection, Guo Cheng, 2016 – Alone, this piece of ceramic would probably not garner much attention, just as the video projection behind it would just be regarded as generic sequential patterns. However when combined, these two elements create something which is larger than the sum of their parts. Together they set a stage to be played out over time that evolves and consistently presents something new. By framing these moving pattern through the silhouette of the vase, something entirely different is created.