Thursday, June 3, 2010
Fountain of life (1983) 350 x 310 x 185 mm. Private collection of Hayden Proud. Photographs by Jac De Villiers.
The following ceramic sculptures were hand-built in porcelain and were the first works completed towards my masters degree at UCT, during the first year of study in 1983. The works focused on the mortal's quest for immortality. This series draws upon Celtic mythology. Reference was made to analogous Christian doctrines, the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist as a means to obtaining immortality.
Quest for immortality - Myths pertaining to immortality.
Fountain of Life (ceramic sculpture above).
Imagery: This sculpture depicts a gaelic version of the Old testament paradise. The christian saints diving into the Waters of Life in search of spiritual regeneration. Rising out of the water they eat the mandorla-shaped nuts that have fallen from the trees and thereby receive divine inspiration.
Slab-constructed and modelled in porcelain. The porcelain was tinted, inlaid and brushed with manganese, copper and cobalt oxide. Porcelain 'Mint' glaze (dipped). Fired to 1250 degrees Celsius. A 'Green' star glaze earthenware glaze was applied and fired to 1060 degrees Celsius. Painted with gold lustre and fired to 720 degrees celsius.
Immortality Act (1983) 195 x 200 x 110 mm. Private collection. Photographs by Jac De Villiers.
Imagery: The pretentious mortal is drawn by curiosity to attempt to experience the life of the saints for herself. The waters of life rise up and repel as she approached the well. The saints that swim in it cast her out and abandon her.
Process: Slab constructed and modeled in oxide-tinted porcelain and biscuit-fired to 900 degrees celsius. Porcelain 'Mint' glaze (dipped) Fired to 1250 degrees celsius. The 'fish' was painted in acrylic.
Man is what he eats (1983) 340 x 370 x 60 mm. Private collection Raymond and Emily Hon. Photographs by Jac De Villiers.
Imagery: The subject, desiring to share in the life of the saints, is dressed in her bathing-constume. Appropriately attired, she can swim in the Waters of Life. She is elevated above a container shaped like a fish, which is analogous to a baptismal font. She is shown at the moment of confrontation with the fish she has caught. She is about to consume the fish which is endowed with divine inspiration and knowledge, and to share in these gifts herself.
Process: Slab constructed and modeled in porcelain. the 'water' was made of porcelain, inlaid with cobalt-tinted porcelain. The 'fish' is painted with a peach underglaze colour and biscuit-fired to 900 degrees celsius. Porcelain 'Mint' glaze (dipped'. fired to 1250 degrees celsius. Painted with lustre colours and fired to 720 degrees celsius. The 'fish' was painted with acrylic.
The Apples of Hesperides. (1983) 335 x 345 x 170 mm. Private collection. Photographs by Jac De Villiers.
Imagery: This sculpture, making reference to Egyptian and Christian iconography, portrays the Soul partaking of the Fruit of Redemption. In the Egyptian mythology the soul, on entering the underworld , is symbolised as a hawk.
The orchard is placed on a rectangular base representing an altar, referring to the sacrifices of Christ in the Eucharist. the fish together with the apples is symbolic of the New Adam who brings healing and deliverance.
Process; slab constructed and modeled in porcelain. The porcelain was tinted, inlaid and brushed with manganese, copper and cobalt oxide. Porcelain 'Mint' glaze (dipped). The 'water' was glazed in a earthenware transparent glaze and fired separately to 1060 degrees celsius. Painted with lustre colours and fired to 720 degrees celsius.
The 'apples' were painted with a yellow lustre (see detail on the right). The dry lustre was lightly sprayed with paraffin causing it to seperate. An application of red lustre was applied to the wet surface causing the red lustre to move with the paraffin. Once the red lustre and yellow lustre intermingled they produced the third colour which was green.