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Natural Elements
Karen Brown
Roberta Polfus

On Display: June 9, 2011 – August 24, 2011

Artist Reception June 24, 2011 5-7pm
Fermilab Art Gallery, Wilson Hall

Karen Brown - Artist's Statement

My drawings respond to the wildness that arises in the plot of land I refer to as 'my garden'. A garden is the result of an intense relationship with a particular place. Shaping and maintaining the garden and developing the drawings is a seamless endeavor, two seemingly different products resulting from the same process.
In the garden as in the studio and in life, change is the only constant. There are the changes I instigate, and the ongoing changes that keep the world in play. When I begin these drawings of various elements of the landscape, I am conscious of myself as an intruder in that world. I feel separate, even foreign; there is an "I", and there is an "Other". That stance is steadily eroded by the whole process of drawing.
Drawing, and perception itself, is an essentially erotic undertaking, in that all of senses are called into action. When drawing, I am subsumed into my subject, swallowed up whole by the living fleshy nature of the world around me. I experience myself as, not separate from the world, but to be part of an enormous living organism. Longing and desire - to be relieved of separateness and self-ness, to participate fully in the life in front of me - that is the root of these drawings, and is the larger part of the fear and pleasure I find in making them.

To see more of Karen's work http://www.karenbrown-art.com/

Artist Statement - Roberta Polfus

I have always been attracted to natural objects, at least as long as my clothing has had pockets. My carved and sometimes gestural pieces are intimate forms that fit and feel good in the hand. While they are generally not representations of actual objects, they reflect the shapes, patterns, colors and surfaces that I am drawn to in nature-the petals of an apple blossom, the grooves of a spindle shell, the pattern of a hosta leaf or the texture of a weathered rock all inform and inspire my work.
I was introduced to porcelain about 11 years ago and we've been inseparable since then. Most of the pieces are made from grolleg porcelain, a very white English porcelain which has the characteristic of being translucent when thin. Since my work is carved, only portions of the pieces may be translucent, and it's not always apparent. I use a combination of wheel thrown and hand built forms that are altered, carved and sprigged. With a variety of airbrushed matte and gloss glazes that enhance the surfaces, the pieces are fired in a gas kiln, cone 10 reduction, around 2340 F.

To see more of Roberta's work http://www.robertapolfusceramics.com/


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last modified 5/31/2011   

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