Here is the work I made in the fall of 2008 at the Kansas City Art Institute Ceramics department. The instructor for the semester, Misty Gamble, focused on figure sculpture, and direct observation. The work was largly self-portrait based, and often became a self-referential narrative.
The first assignment was to sculpt my hand or foot with an object. I chose to depict my hand, resting on a favorite stuffed animal of mine. Stuffed animals reference my childhood, and remind me of being comforted. So, this piece is titled, “Comfort”.
This next piece is a lifesize self portrait head. I chose to position myself as if looking up from a pool of water, this angle proved to be very challenging to sculpt. I used nicrome wire for the eyelashes and eyebrows, to give the illusion of fine hair. I chose white orchids because of their connections to love, and permanance. This piece is titled, “Among the Orchids”.
This is a full body self-portrait. The narrative in this piece became the focus for me. I wanted to express the way that people interact with animals, and the different emotions we feel. The figure is 3/4 life size, while the animal she reaches out to, a Malayan Tapir calf, is depicted at life size. I chose a tapir because very few people have much knowledge or exposure to them due to their dwindling population and limited habitat in South America. It is the idea of the unknown animal that makes the figures reach all the more important, and gives this piece the name, “Intrigue”.