Born in Glasgow, I studied Architecture then moved to Asia for 15 years, completing a PhD at the University of Hong Kong and took up ceramics while on maternity leave. Returning to Glasgow, I began to explore site-specific methods of working to reflect the spirit of the rediscovered places I have an innate connection to. Recently I have been focusing on model and plaster mould making; combining ceramics with digital modelling, cutting, printing and hand drawing and photography. During the MA I used a series of case studies to develop a framework and reflective process moving between site and studio.
My work fits into the expanding field of ceramics which includes site-specific works. I take inspiration from place or site with the aim to explore and reflect qualities that create a ‘genius loci’ the spirit of a place through a process of engagement and reflection.
This was inspired by Kenneth Frampton’s critical regionalism; architectural discourses defining a contemporary vernacular to re-find a sense of place, brought with me from my architectural research interests. The drive to reconnect to place is something I am conscious of after returning to Scotland after 15 years as both an insider and outsider.
Over the course of the MA I created objects and uncovered and interpreted language that connected with the spirit of the places I engaged with. In my Masters Project I explored the 150 years old timber remains of ponds in the River Clyde and the language and essence relating to the intertidal zone: the Sjusamillabakka (Shetland Norn).
I translated, in several stages of development, drawings and photographs of the battered, gnarled timber remains into slip-cast, parian sculptural vessels. The weather-beaten lines are expressed in the single shaped face of the rectangle, contrasting with the clean, smooth geometry of the rectangular form, echoing the spaces between the timber posts. Taking the vessels onsite to photograph heightened my engagement with the wildness of the site, and the photographs revealed reflections in the water, ghost representations of the vessels in black which led to a further set of vessels in black parian.
I plan to continue to develop this process of making with clay, and other materials, to allow a to and fro between landscape and language to explore the value of ‘place’, through the language and traditions embodied in vernacular structures.