Friday, November 1, 2013

Red-handed retrospect

I last wrote on the blog after being in residence at NCC in mid July.  Since then, works from the participating artists have arrived from all corners of the country; works have been curated and the exhibition has been hung.  In addition, certain pieces from the exhibition were photographed and posted online for sale.  This gave me the opportunity to see outcomes of many of the collaborations for the first time.  

Although one can only get so much information from an image, I enjoyed seeing how the work was transformed be each artist.  I found myself trying to decode each piece—who made it and then who glazed it—before confirming if I had guessed correctly by clicking on the thumbnail image. I imagine a similar process took place in the physical gallery space as well.  But, I think that seeing the exhibition in person would have allowed the viewer to make connections more fluidly given that all the works were in the same intimate space. 

I can see how this experience has changed me and how I view my work.  I had taken the unadorned surface of my work as a given; but I was challenged to reconsider this assumption when I saw how others had approached decorating my forms. Seeing my work in a new light challenged me to started incorporating some subtle patterning on the surface of some of my functional pieces, something that I don’t think I would have considered before being part of this collaboration.

I feel that the most rewarding part of this experience came from the relationships that were made with the participating artists and the NCC staff.  I truly enjoyed the conversations that came about throughout the process, both in person during the residency and via email.  Topics ranged from how to price work to issues of glaze chemistry; from questions of artistic license to conceptual concerns regarding pottery.

Exquisite Pots 2  rekindled my inner artistic dialog while connecting me to other artists.  I feel very fortunate that NCC offered me the chance to be supported while I took risks, learned, failed, and picked myself up to try again. It has been a wonderful experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!