I make small ceramic sculptures which combine opposites of form, texture and colour as metaphors for perfection versus imperfection and control versus chaos in relation to personal identity and a contradictory sense of self. My work explores the desire to contain and control personal and emotional mess and disorder, in a world which encourages the belief that perfection in all aspects of life is desirable, and attainable. I am interested in the contemporary tendency, aided by the tools of social media, to mask the messiness and chaos of real life through the creation of curated and constructed personal identities, particularly online. My sculptures combine loosely made sections with carefully constructed and evenly finished sections, enabling me to explore my relationship to my themes through my own making processes.
My sculptures are intended to be unsettling in their form and how they are displayed, sometimes spilling over the plinth. Small in scale (max 30cm in any dimension), they are intended to have visual and formal energy. Some pieces seem to imply an obscure function and I am interested in exploring how this can be exploited to enhance their unsettling nature, with some elements appearing carefully designed and others almost formless.
My sculptures are hand built from earthenware clay and fired to earthenware temperatures. I work quickly and loosely with the clay, pushing and slopping or folding it; but I also form it precisely through the careful and slow construction of slabs and the smoothing of surfaces, combining both approaches within the same piece. Muted earthenware glazes, stained with oxides and sometimes including additions such as sand, are offset by vivid acrylic colours.
All ceramic work, text and site pages © Jane King