After a visit to the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich I was inspired by the vast range of ceramic work they had in their collection. I was particularly attracted to the piece, Mediterranean Sculpture (Orphic Dream), by Jean Arp, 1941.
This image was the best I could find online, as I only took a couple of sketches at the time, rather than a photo, but the piece that I saw was made from terracotta clay and was burnished to such a high standard that it could have passed for pink marble. I really like the idea of a piece being a completely different material than first perceived.
I was also intrigued by how the various artists on display in the centre, including Hans Coper, utilized the plinth and incorporated it in to their piece. The elevation seemed to give the form a greater sense of being. It seemed to make the piece more valuable with a greater sense of power.
A lot of my 2D work uses flat, brightly coloured, graphic, blocky shapes. The sculptures I was looking at appeared to do just this, but in 3D. These were all points I wanted to investigate and explore.
This is what I made.
As the piece gradually took shape I used a serrated steel kidney to initially smooth and join the clay. I noticed that the marks left by the kidney were very gestural and could illustrate some of the making process to the viewer, so I decided to fill them with white slip so they would remain visible and become a feature of the sculpture. The base was made from grey clay with red slip in-laid in to the surface, vice versa of its passenger.
I would love to some how map my fingerprints on this piece, as it has had a hell of a lot surface contact with them to achieve this high shine!