Water shifts, moves and flows. It has no inherent shape, formed only by the embrace of the shoreline, a vessel or even a garden hose. Three artists – Tiffany Adams, Brooke Hammerle and Paula Martiesian – offer their personal interpretations of the constant motion of water in their lives and art.
My ceramic sculptures are organic in form and inspired by nature. My inspiration is wide ranging and includes my environment, memories of my travels and love of the ocean. I feel drawn to forms found in nature and to nature itself. The found objects I draw my inspiration from are: bones, shells, rocks, coral, seeds, driftwood or fragments of these found treasures. I observe the round and wavy curves and also the jagged sharp edges that influence my work. I contemplate their existence. How long it took to become smooth, weathered, warped, bleached, corroded, crusty or cracked. That is what excites me about the raku finish. I can take a fresh, new piece of clay and give it a look of aged existence. I try to give each of my pieces that same feeling of age, as if the object has been sitting on the bottom of the ocean or buried for some time allowing the viewer to ponder. Some of my work is void of color. It makes one wonder from where this form came; land or water; animal or plant? This body of work is my ‘Coral Series’. I use copper blues, metallic, and lithium greens to achieve and mimic the colors I remember while diving through coral reefs. The gestural movement and rhythm of the cylindrical forms seem as if to be growing out of the ocean floor.
All of my sculptures in this series are hand built, one of a kind, and made of stoneware clay. After creating the pieces, I bisque fire in an electric kiln, then glaze, and fire once again in a raku kiln. This is how the crackle surface is achieved. What I enjoy most about this glaze and firing technique is the varying end results. Each piece is unique and can never be duplicated. It is always a thrill to open the kiln and see what awaits. This keeps me motivated and excited to continually experiment with this process.
I have always been inspired by the beauty and sublime nature of light in water in the landscape. Its mercurial quality fascinates me, from the subtlety of mirror reflections to my more recent study of light as the expression of water’s energy.
The “Songs of Light” series began as a study of these light reflections moving through a small 7 step waterfall in Roger Williams Park in Providence. I was fascinated by the “symphony” and “dance performance” of light calligraphy as the water flowed through the steps and broke up into bubbles at the bottom.
These 10 30×45” photographs are macro photographs of this (sun) light moving through these transformations as it passes through the falls. In this process I explored hidden worlds of multiple dimensions and the spatial ambiguity between deeper space and surface reflection. The light, almost too quick for the human eye to see, is captured in a moment of time-lapse exposure, abstractly as a form of energy. This energy of movement takes on a life of its own, the poetry of nature’s design.
I’m drawn to movement in nature, shadows that never stop dancing, tree limbs that curve their branches up to the sun and water that is in constant motion. I fantasize about what the world might look like without man in it. There would be no square grids, no concrete block buildings, no asphalt ribbon highways. Straight lines would be non-existent. Instead vines would cover the earth and water would be free of the plastic excrement that weighs it down so heavily.
This world, free of mankind, is what I paint. I make large-scale exaggerated and abstracted water and landscapes that seek to capture the constant ebb and flow of life.
1st photo: Waterfall Brooke Hammerle 30×45”
2nd photo: Untitled Tiffany Adams 3’x6”
3rd photo: Reflected Waves Paula Martiesian 36×50”