Edinburgh-based artist Jessica Harrison transforms the collectible ceramic ladies that populate grandmothers’ china cabinets into spectacles of gore. These elegant abominations are now on view at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York as part of Body & Soul: New International Ceramics, the first of a series of exhibitions highlighting different materials. Body & Soul is centered on the human figure in contemporary ceramics, and as the exhibition text notes; “Through clay the figure becomes the catalyst for addressing the emotional impact of contemporary pressures that confront our society today.” – ehm?
Harrison’s pieces are created from found ceramic figurines, altered in horrific ways with epoxy resin putty and enamel paint. There’s something more to these than just a kitsch re-imagining. They’re somehow more beautiful than that. Maybe it’s the memory of these from most people’s grandmas cupboards, I don’t really know. I do know that they’re beautiful and weird and gruesome and incredibly cool.