2 three month residents are finishing up. they both mounted amazing exhibitions last week. meaghan gates, an artist from california just finished her undergrad at chico state and came to shigaraki as part of a trip funded by the presigious windgate grant she received last year. before coming to shigaraki she spent a month at a pottery in seto, japan and after she leaves next week she will go to san bao, china for a month.
yumie shukuya is from the gumna prefecture but lives in tokyo. she recently graduated from tama university, one of the top tier programs for art in japan, where she studied sculpture.
both artists went to undergrads that nurtured conceptual sculpture thought they both use the wheel in some areas of their work. the also both make work that falls beneath the umbrella of biomorphic abstraction. meaghan uses the wheel, almost exclusively, to creae repeated shapes that she brings together into complex organic compositions. Some are particular abstract, others evoke more recognizable animal forms such as fowl or mammals which the artist calls comforting.
yumie’s sculptures begin from the idea of a flower, which she sees as a stand in for the human body. she uses molds to create base forms which she alters and adds onto. her glazes push the flower-like qualities forward, with thick feldspathic nodules that sit on top of the form like button mushrooms or crawl off the clay body leaving what looks like a naturally occurring pattern. she also employs variegated glaze colors that bring to mind orchid or hellebore petals. these colors are echoed in the ink washes she applies canvases which are set behind the installed work.
i’m really thrilled i got to work with these artists this month and see their shows go up.