The Lilies of Forgiveness vessels were produced in collaboration with Régime des Fleurs, a Los Angeles-based fragrance company. I met Alia and Ezra a couple of years ago and we connected on a mutual appreciation and interest in art, history, and nature. Lilies of Forgiveness is a meditation on transcendence. The forms directly reference ancient amphorae whilst the glazed surfaces draw connotations to human skin and the minute details of flower petals – with specific attention to layering to create veins, veils, subtle nuances and a sense of graceful radiance. The vessels were exhibited alongside other artworks and a soundscape with arranged fresh flora at C. Nichols Project in Los Angeles, evoking the convergence of immateriality and visceral humanity.
Technically, the glazed surfaces consist of multiple layers of slip, wash, and glazes, incorporating various ingredients to encourage decay and destruction within the firing process. There is an individual chemical story within each piece, how each layer has affected those above and below it, including the body of the vessel. The vessels are coiled by hand, resulting in slight idiosyncrasies within each form, evidence of the human touch.
My work consistently explores these interrogations of decay and destruction, both physically/aesthetically and conceptually. The process is very much about embracing natural variations and the results of each firing, so each piece in this sense is unique. I am consistently seeking the harmony between destructed and complete, raw and subtle, vigorous and calm, atavistic and contemporary.
I feel that all artwork reflects something of the world around it, whether intentional or not.
With these vessels, we primarily wanted to highlight a sensitivity and subtlety within the works which encourages a slower and more considered approach within the viewer. The process of ceramics is slower, and possibly a more considered, methodical and chemical medium than some other forms of art which in turn dictates a similar approach to life.
I feel we are at the tipping point where there is so much information passing through our worlds and our minds that it is difficult to have moments of natural emptiness, mental space for undirected thought and a balanced connection to the people and places in our lives. I primarily observe the way people connect with themselves, with others, and where they place value in the world around them. More often than not it seems to be an attachment to a certain ideal, or a material item, or a belief in the way their world should be. We all have attachments in some way, and it is a human need to feel connected particularly to the people around us. Conceptually, I explore ways to communicate the importance of the human connection and encourage embracing change and decay through my work, as a reminder to myself just as much as a way of connecting to a viewer.
However, at the end of the day, the works I create are still a physical object imprint of my ideas, and the material mass of a vessel is not as important as the thought processes and philosophies behind it. Essentially, the only things we have ownership of are the perceptions of the world around us, which hold far more power to us than any physical thing.
Interview with Alana Wilson.
Photography: Loc Boyle.
Trends: Experienced Narratives.