Marianne C. McGrath

Visions In Clay 2020

Marianne C. McGrath |

Artist Statement:

My work is a contemplation on material, process, and object metaphors that juxtaposes the medium of clay with reclaimed materials to create works that speak of the recollection of both physical and conjured landscapes.  Inspired by the landscape of my agrarian childhood home now covered by suburban sprawl, I strive for these works to be spaces and scenarios the viewer can physically or psychologically enter and inhabit, and perhaps consider how the spaces they’re able to recall from their own personal histories compare to the landscape that surrounds them today.

I employ the medium of clay in unconventional ways to accent the metaphorical capacity of the medium to communicate a sense of memory, ephemerality, and loss.  Based primarily on forms and processes from the now lost landscape of my childhood, the clay objects I create may be unfired and preserved in wax, or fired unconventionally with raw or surprising surfaces.  I present these objects as physical tributes to a memory, and to the actual tangible process of object making.  I rely heavily on the inherent metaphors that exist within the materials and processes I employ in my works, inviting the viewer to experience the immense capacity to communicate that these materials and processes hold in and of themselves.

The resulting works may be quiet contemplations of the materials and processes that created them, or can be entities that present pairings that are symbiotic yet impossible – balancing what can be seen now, and what may have been seen before.  These works speak of the human idea and need of both home and memory, and the perhaps necessary yet chaotic change that rural and suburban landscapes relentlessly undergo.  They are meant to leave viewers questioning, perhaps considering the role they play in the landscapes that surround them and the memories of these spaces that carry within themselves.

hand-formed cone 10 porcelain, reclaimed wood, cement
3’ x 6’ x 12’

hand-formed cone 10 porcelain, string
6’ x 3’ x 3”