December 2017 – July 2018
Blake’s Artist Statement
I work with the assumption that liveliness is embedded and intrinsic to the clay medium. Qualities of vulnerability and ephemerality that highlight our own temporal character as human beings also seamlessly correlate to clay. From this perspective, these descriptive qualities become more than aesthetic and conceptual motifs of the work, they are features derivative from the nature of the material itself.
Clay is very much a living substance in its own right, with a lifespan that starts with a wet, infant-like fragility. When exposed to the aired environment, it breaths, relieving moisture and hardening over the passage of time. As the clay coagulates, it becomes subject to touch and pressure in different ways, no longer as versatile or malleable as its wet, supple counterpart. Finally the clay dries completely reaching the end of its lifespan where no more changes or additions can be made. The correlation between this lifecycle and that of the human condition is of primary interest.
Conceptualizing the material in this way opens up a plethora of possible messages that can be communicated quite directly through the material itself. When understood as a medium with intrinsic personality, not independent from time, natural textures and forms gain immense metaphorical power. My goal as the manipulator of the medium is not to construct, but rather to cultivate this symbolism by addressing the material in it most vulnerable state, allowing natural aesthetic tendencies of the clay to manifest by implementing processes that involve little control.
The final result is an ubiquitous form that addresses issues essential to the character of our respective environments and that of ourselves.