STATEMENT

My artistic practice addresses the concept of trauma, specifically its transformative qualities, by presenting notions of strength, the correlation of damage and repair, and mending. Combining the softness of textiles with the rigidity of clay in mixed media work presents creative opportunities for depicting the negative and gruesome aspects of physical traumas that are often concealed or ignored. A metamorphosis takes place through subverting these more disturbing subjects, converting them into focal points of adornment, as well as reframing and reclaiming them as indicators of the beautiful process of transformation and all stages of healing. 

I explicitly hand build vessels out of porcelain, a method which highlights my appreciation for the intimacy of the material. The material also signifies my interest in the female body’s characteristics of softness, resiliency, and memory. My ceramic vessels often loosely represent female internal anatomy in either form or color. Addressing the surfaces of my sculptures through the application of organ- and flesh-like hues evokes our own physical being. Viewers can relate forms to the interior body, or prompt perception of the exterior body in its many visceral tones. Additionally, layers of pliable, translucent textiles are used to enhance ideas of skin and speak to the impression of what lies upon and beneath its surface. In harmony with clay, soft and hard elements communicate resiliency and affect, and engage the contradiction of conceal/reveal regarding intimate narratives surrounding trauma. I consistently look for ways in which my pieces can initiate conversations rather than expelling a detailed story in its entirety.

Some of my works consider the psychology of suffering and trauma, expressly focusing on how lived experience is part of an individual. Other works point to more observable traces or visible manifestations of trauma. These considerations of private vs. public allow my work to resonate with viewers on a number of levels, providing viewers with the latitude to enter into the work from a familiar place, despite coming from different experiences.

© 2019 by Alex Bailey