Various clays, porcelain, soil, sand, stone, ceramic objects
Shenzhen, China | 2013
Like many other cultures and religions, the ancient Chinese reference soil as the living and fertile material that creates new life - the flesh of mother nature herself - and in this work I wanted to shine light on clay's quality as a living material from the natural world. This series of experimental forms explores the humble origins of highly valued ceramic cultural artefacts. I was interested to juxtapose porcelain objects - known for their purity, sterile and luxury qualities - with the lowly origins of the materials: clay, mud, dirt. Rice and beans are layered with rejected found local ceramic objects and different porcelain and clay slips, sand, stone, and soil. As the seeds sprout and grow in the moist pot they start to reshape the form, creating new patterns and textures. The vessel forms were cast from traditional Jingdezhen Chinese vases, building up in layers of different clays to suggest sedimentary rocks in plaster moulds. I was interested to reference the slow geological movement of time and the process of the earth regurgitating and revealing archaeological objects.