Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NCECA's Public Show @ The Tampa Convention Center

I went over there this morning, gathered images, talked with many of the the artists, and examined the work by Sharan Elran, Brian Molanphy, Eva Kwong, Henny Linn Kjellberg, Teri Frame, Tiny Circus, Julia Haft-Candell, Dawn Holder, Marianne McGrath, and Colby Parsons. Plus there was The Table from Santa Fe, the Artstream, and several other exhibitors showing innumerable works of art.  

The public NCECA show is held in a spacious Convention Center room right next to the member's section. I got there early, and later the number of people in the room swelled.

"What I see, what I saw", by Marianne C. McGrath, looks like and are giant unfired clay roses coming out of little rooftops. The installation is about migrations, specifically the movements of people and the ensuing changes in the American landscape, particularly the city-to-suburbs flow. The fragile roses relate to memories and now-lost landscapes. A strange and very moving work, a sea of dark grey roses scattered like a fading garden before us.


 Here is a view from behind the installation, showing the upside-down roses and their stems ready to be set up. Just to the left of the table one can see the little house/roof forms into which they go. A piece that reminds the viewer of their own history, the human cost of moving, the places that now exist only in memory within us and our own place in this garden.

See more of the artists' work at [Link].

Eva Kwong's "Next Migrations" is a map of the world on the floor delineated with tape, on which rest clay tokens. On the US, there is a large pile (which she is kneeling next to in the picture) of three thousand clay discs representing the 300 million Americans, all of whom are, in one form or another, like Eva and I, immigrants.
  The discs are to be used by participants by placing them where they would want to migrate to. The discs are a lot like coins, which may have to do with the economics of migratory patterns. The clay discs, as they are scattered by participants, form secondary landscapes of migratory dream and desire on their own. I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Eva, who is an articulate, passionate soul who has produced a very elegant conceptual and simultaneously grounded work that poses questions for you to think about.

Eva also makes exquisite ceramics that are sculptural but retain some utilitarian echoes, and much more. See more of them here: [Link]

On the left is a picture of the Artstream, a 1967 Airstream trailer lovingly converted into a movable utilitarian ceramics gallery.

"Bricks #1" is an installation composed of a multitude of identical bricks. Sharan Elran, the artist, wants participants to get in and reconfigure the sculpture as they wish. The subtextual theme  is Migration, and the polymorphic nature of the piece allows the expressions of many to be actualized and serve as the materia prima for the next person.

See more of his work here: [Link]

This is a performance piece titled: "Pre Human, Post human, Inhuman", designed and performed by Teri Frame. It is performed in six acts called Simians, Early Humans, Hybrids, Proportions, Races and Posthumans. It is a narrative of the migration of the body over time, arts and sciences. The artist describes this as a transfiguration in and through clay. The changes of clay as it dries reflect on the aging process. This is an absorbing, demanding piece. It takes some time or several trips to begin to appreciate its power.

See more of her work at: [Link]

This is Julia Haft-Candell, who was making these biomorphic forms looking a little like living sponges. She  is very involved with the process, and was carrying these forms to the limits of the materials, and intending to take them over it. Here too, the theme is Migration, where forms pull apart and fuse becoming different entities, changing, and sharing DNA.

See more of her work here: [Link]

These people are members of Tiny Circus, a collaborative group. They are making a clay animation via inscribing the clay's surface. As they do this, it is all being recorded by an overhead camera tied to a computer, which also lets the on-site viewers see what it is recording.

You can see more at: [Link].

This installation, titled Wire Works, by Henny Linn Kjellberg, consists of  a wooden frame which the artist encloses in (iron) barbed wire eventually enclosing herself. Like the other works, this is themes on Migration, borders, physical and spiritual, the spaces in which people have to live. The work poses many questions about who is captive and who is free? What price security? And much more.
See more at: [Link]

Congratulations to NCECA for putting together another excellent show, this one at the Convention Center, and available to the public for viewing and participating for free, and the chance to acquire ceramic works of many kinds at reasonable prices.

--- Luis

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