We’re eager to get insight from artists about their work, not only how they make their art, but also what they were thinking and feeling as they were making it. San Francisco artist Bill Abright recently sent us a series of sculptures, which he describes as a whole in his artist statement. He also supplied us with notes on each individual work, describing how he made it and his archetypal thoughts of what the sculpture symbolizes. Here is Abright in his own words:
This series of ceramic sculptures focus on the interplay between the interior space and the exterior form of the human figure. I am curious about what is beneath the surface of things in both the natural and manmade world. I create layers of complex interior spaces suggestive of organs or skeletal structure by combining wheel thrown and hand built ceramic forms into conglomerated recognizable shapes.
My exploration of form through the process of construction and deconstruction reveal cave-like interiors of intentional randomness and infuse my work and my process with continuing discovery. The content and title of each figure develops through insights that present themselves to me throughout the process. Their identity is defined through my empathy for other people but function as self-portraits as well. My figures are a testament to the variety and durability of humanity; still standing despite the burdens, inflictions, disasters and dissections we endure.
Bill Abright was introduced to clay by Bruce Duke at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton in the late 60’s. He completed his graduate degree at San Francisco State in 1974 working with Bud McKee, Stephen De Staebler, Joe Hawley and David Kuraoka. Abright has recently retired from teaching ceramics at the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA since 1975 and has been influential in the lives of many artists. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and his work is in many private and museum collections including the Oakland Museum of California, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.