Lifesize Matrons

The boundary is a tiny space where two hierarchies meet. Hierarchies are reordered as binaries. Categories don’t line up with realities. The classic meets the grotesque. Illusion meets reality in the boundary. 

Information is necessary to change the worldview. In the boundary we can puzzle how information is taught, artists can change the worldview by dissecting and turning truths. Nothing lines up the way we thought it did when we were thirteen. Humans are solid yet elusive, illusory but concrete, singular while multiple. The human figure cites the boundaries inherent in people. 

Balancing uncommonly heavy ceramic forms, careening precariously between ladder and hedge, Sheila constructed stoneware figures, which appeared to be on the verge of flying. She had not worked this hard producing a body of work since her daughters were infants and she was their first food. 

Body, lip, foot, belly, shoulder, neck, noggin, arms, handles, beak, and mouth are an integral part of the language, which breathes life into clay. Stoneware, massive and thick, traces the act of eating.  

For half a year Sheila had been bolting her life-sized clothed but not clothed stoneware matrons into sidewalks in the dead of night. Invisible, she secreted her public art into the everyday lives of the city. 

Mined from the ground, clay historically has been associated with the lower bodily stratum, filth, mire, and the female. Clay has been considered the substance of the perfect workability, a matter upon which form acts; passive. From this relationship between clay and matter, between clay and female, the association between ceramic and low art began.

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