Marion Arts
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The Ceramic Showcase  

Graduation Work - Inspiration

Ja hoor, ik ben het Marion Arts This series took a period of four months to complete and during this time I made a series of five objects with as theme the bowl. I found my inspiration in eastern motives from both design and architecture. Think for instance of Indian palaces, domes, islamic mosques and graceful ornaments. Objects that show, radiate the characteristics of a culture. Objects prepared according to traditional methods with a high degree of craftsmanship, coming from areas where conceptual art is considered a contradiction in terms.

I made this craftsmanship reflect in my work by building the bowls from small parts, sometimes identical,ook de natuur werkt op vergelijkbare wijze sometimes monomorphous but different in size. This technique, with its stacking and joining together of small parts can quite easily be associated with the bricklayer and his bricks but in contrast to this skilled worker and his routine work the building of these bowls requires continuous concentration: as a creator I have to be receptive to the shape that is developing underneath my hands and adjust the process whenever this is required.

The building blocks that I've used have been made from clay, without however exploiting the plastic properties of the material to the full extend. The blocks' shapes have been kept relatively simple, to avoid interference of their individual forms with that of the bowl as a whole. Triangles, diamonds and pyramidal structures occasionally decorated with a modest pattern, matching the country that provided the inspiration for that particular bowl.

I find it fascinating that an image can be created from small individual particles comparable to mosaics.mosaics in Ravenna Mosaics have often been used to decorate churches and cathedrals from the Byzantine era and in these buildings this flow of stones and glass becomes visible, stretching over the interior, following all contours to provide an attractive texture. In my work I'd like to liberate the mosaic from its restrictive two-dimensional world, strip its shallowness and raise it in the third dimension by employing it as a construction technique, as a building material.

The inspiration I got from foreign shapes reflected on my work more intrinsically as well. Among the countries that fascinate me most are India and Morocco. These cultures with their magnificent architecture don't exhibit this splendor very regularly in daily appliances, keeping shapes of for instance ceramic houseware to a functional minimum. Therefore I have designed a series of bowls that do show the individual characteristics of various cultures. This allowed me to look at cultures in a more general sense and not concentrating on specific architects or designers. In this way I tried to imagine the feeling that these countries gave me; in particular my admiration for nicely worked and gracefully designed architectonic elements from the Arabic world.

object by David MachI consider it a challenge to create an image with the limitations imposed by the technique of repeating, stacking and arranging relatively simple shapes. In this process I find inspiration from various other artists like Gormley, McCollum, Mach, Stockmans, Miraldo en Goldsworthy and more generally in architecture as a whole.

Marion Arts
maart 1999

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© 2002 Hans de Brouwer

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