Labor and Identity
While pursuing my MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute I was able to explore a wide range of themes and genres in my first year. Conceptually I have a fundamental interest in social structures and the fabrication of personhood and identity. These concerns are explored in a variety of materials, methods, or markings which create metaphors and analogies for social and cultural circumstances. Labor and the work place have been specifically motivating in my practice and during my second year of graduate school I committed myself to being in the ceramics studio focusing on a limited number of materials to create work.
My thesis exhibition in May of 2015 was in two parts. The first was a wall of thrown stoneware vessels replicating bottle and jug shapes of 18th Century American pottery. Titled "The Stakes of Containment", this piece was about the vessel and identity - it explored what it means to claim personhood and how people are fluidly shifting between states of emptiness, withholding, or emptying.
The second part of my thesis was a series of ceramic pedestals installed outside the exhibition space at Fort Mason floating on walnut dollies. Titled "Waiting for Work" this work evokes a dialogue about labor and the bodies performing essential tasks. The liminal nature of these pedestals performs how laborers beneath the spotlight are critical parts of a systems and the distribution of wealth and recognition unjustly singles out individuals rather than the community. This work challenges our social structures and seeks more equitable forms of transparency and honesty.