Toni de Jesus — Morgan Dowdall — Marek Líška — Elin Hughes — Yixia Lin — Youngeun Shin — Jaejun Lee — Hannah Walters — Sam Lucas

CAMPFA Jun 12th – Jul 5th 2019

@elinhughesceramics —
My practice stems from a motivation to understand the thrown form. Through a cyclic process of fracturing and reconstructing I hope to achieve an instinctive understanding not of the process of throwing but of the forms that result from this method of making. My belief is that through this process of reworking, of pulling apart and stitching together the various components of a vessel, it is possible to come to a truer understanding of what a ceramic pot really is.

I approach the breaking apart of my thrown forms almost as an autopsy, a dissection of the thrown sections. My process is an iterative response to the nuances of each thrown vessel which I slice, squeeze and punch, responding instinctively to the shifts in tension and balance in the form. It is a fraught and risky dance with gravity which I don’t always win.

I enjoy feeling the tension held within the undulating walls and the subsequent exhaling of that tightness as the clay is sliced, pierced and turned inside out. The surfaces of the vessels show traces of these operations in their scars and stitches. Through the cracks in the surface the viewer glimpses their interior, the void which is as integral to the vessel as the clay itself.


@linyixia_ceramics  —
Living in utilitarian buildings, inhabitants can tend to act passively with their surroundings. My interest lies in reactivating our early human lives and a more intimate interaction with the environment.

I am fascinated by the primitive quality of the ancient objects and ancient houses; the rough uneven surface, the organic shapes that reveal our interaction. They act as a reminder that we are living in a more-than-human world.

I use various techniques to construct my works; throwing, coil building, slab building. I was trained as a painter and drawing becomes important part of my ceramic practice, using brush, water and ink to express the atmosphere of space and this expression is transferred into the clay.

@marek.liska_ —
I believe all materials should be considered alive and vital. Through attentive human intervention, material can be cultivated into forms that are not dominated by pure human will, but are collaboratively shaped by the world and its forces too. Clay borders the organic and the inorganic. It is one of the most physically sympathetic materials, making it an ideal substrate to mutually grow.

Through my work I adopt the role of a ‘ceramic gardener’ tending to clay as a living medium. Employing the metaphor of a gardener is important to me because it enables me to forefront the unpredictable and vital dimensions of clay. This method of making allows me to strike a balance between organic and artificial, the real and imagined, outdoor and domestic, human and more-than-human.

During the process of hand building I press clay into my palm, transferring lines and folds which imply veins that seek to nourish the sculpture. The sculptures are adorned with tin glaze and colourful marks that explore the essence of growth in botanical illustrations. I also utilise specifically made gardening tools to extend the narrative of cultivation; cast in bronze, they refer to the beginnings of human agriculture, as well as the first cultivation of minerals and metals. The final works explore ideas about our interaction with the world and our role within nature.

@mdoodlee —
Morgan Dowdall is an artist born in South Wales and based in Cardiff. Having studied BA Ceramics at Cardiff School of Art & Design (CSAD), his practice is highly influenced by the materiality of clay. However, Morgan also uses his technical drawing skills to further develop and communicate ideas, drawing not only on paper but on the clay itself.

Morgan’s artistic practice explores all facets of visual art, ranging from: sculpture, applied arts, surface design and installation. Through these, Morgan explores queer aesthetics and the representation of male bodies throughout art history. His sculptural works are quiet, contemplative pieces that explore the feelings that come with occupying a body along with the notion of intimacy. His plates, drawings and prints, are an overt celebration of queer sexuality and diverse naked bodies.

His work is often playful but is nevertheless attempting to subvert the traditions that come with portraying the naked male figure.

@tonidjesus —
It has been common to describe craft’s position as a borderline area between fine art and design. I prefer to call this area an ‘intervening space’ or, to be more precise, the space between function and non-function, tradition and breaking with tradition, craftsmanship-based art and idea-based art.

(Jorunn Veitiberg, 2005)

In the modern and post-modern periods, the home has been both an important and undervalued location for encountering art, particularly ceramics. Important because the domestic space is the traditional site for encountering it, and undervalued because of connotations of craft belonging to the female sphere, a place of utility, of low financial value, and small-scale to enable its display within the home.

Questions raised by this discourse resonate through my practice, a fusion of coil building and levels of flux cause the boundary of each form to literally oscillate as if in response to attempts at fixed definition.

Youngeun Shin is a Cardiff based artist, born in Seoul, South Korea.She has rooted herself in Wales over the last sixteen years, calling it home. Cardiff inevitably has had a significant role in shaping her artistic practice, from her undergraduate studies to the various communities she has been a part of.

Whilst studying BA Ceramics at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Youngeun, through abstract formal experimentation, began to explore themes such as materiality of clay, composition and textures from the everyday. Another recurrent theme in Youngeun’s work is the notion of the act of making, she explores this by creating clay and ceramic objects and compositions that invite the viewer to partake in the activity through observation.

Influenced by artists such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Gillian Lowndes and Rachel Whiteread, Youngeun also draws inspiration from the relationship between the mass-produced and mundane objects around her. Particularly with an interest in the humble and near-universal object, the vessel, as it exists in many forms and occupies many contexts. It continues to provide a reference point and an inspiration for her practice.


@jaejunlee_ceramics —
It’s been 6 years that I spend most of my day in front of the wheel. 10 years ago, I started throwing at University, and now I have become a person who makes a living with bowls.

Sometimes I feel that I am quite used to it, but sometimes I still feel like a beginner. As I work everyday, I realize that I need much longer time and much more effort to be skilled.

In the way I work, it is very important to have skilled techniques as my aim is to make good quality things.There are so many products in the world. So many things are spread in front of us which w e do not know where they came from or how they were made.We use some goods because of their cheap prices, and sometimes we are tempted by certain goods because of their high costs.

However, we do not know goods themselves well. All the things that have been produced have their own proper values, and maker’s motives of making them. We are no longer interested in any of these backgrounds because of mechanized system. Now, I would like to ask you to have more active and keen interest in things.

Everything has its own value, and maker’s care and the value of labour. I work every day for value of my labour, and I want to communicate with people through what I made.I hope that people use things in their lives, and make a deep connection through using it, and grow their lives with that affection.I try my best to enrich our lives as a member of this world, and I hope that this society needs more craftsman who might be working
even now to do a role as a part of this world.

@hannah.walters.ceramics —
Hannah Walters is a ceramic artist currently based in Cardiff.

There are a number of historical influences over Hannah’s work, from her exploration of classical greek sculpture to her current practise that draws from delftware and antique Wedgewood.

She finds a humour and certain humanity in 1800s European ceramics, they can often have a functionality that has been shoehorned in and that sits uncomfortably with its form. These are aspects that create such character in a piece and a connection with the viewer. In bringing a contemporary touch to traditional techniques Hannah aims to capture this character in new ways.

There are Figurative links throughout her current work and previous projects. This comes back to her life drawing practise in which she finds parallels with her ceramic work, she finds links from looking at the similarities between charcoal and clay. Like charcoal, clay has an immediacy to it, any mark or touch is documented in its surface and, almost like a smudge, when you add a mark it is tricky to take it away to that perfect untouched finish. There is a rawness to both materials, something very earthy and primitive. Both have been used for centuries as a way to express the human figure.

Hannah combines these elements in new ways to experiment and continue furthering her practise.

@sam____lucas —
After working for twenty years in the creative arts department of a specialist college for young people with complex needs, Sam decided to undertake an MA in ceramics and gained a distinction. She won one of the graduate residency places at Fireworks Clay Studios in Cardiff and is now emerging as a figurative artist who works predominantly with clay.

Her recent body of work ‘Strange stranger’ explores the weight and awkwardness of being in the body, the pain this alienation can cause, and ironically the beauty and humour that results from this diversity.

These objects may make you stop and stare, out of curiosity and inquisitiveness. You might be slightly confused, bemused, unnerved, and perhaps disturbed by their uncanny nature and relentless resistance to conform.

She creates objects that are more about being than being seen. They are frozen moments in time and the position of the work is unfixed, both grasping out at the world and bound to itself, caught as if in a game of ‘cat and mouse' yet with nowhere to hide from the inevitable and perpetual anxiety, only the humour can save you.