Fred Croft Solo
17/05/2019 - 01/06/2019
Curated by Yves Lee
Ramshackle Flimsy Rickety Tottering Unsteady Fragile Embellish Decorate Detritus Found Recycled
In a recent conversation with the artist Anthony Gormley, we were discussing the use of clay as an art material and its origins in pottery and functional ware. It was a comment he made, “we are all vessels of some kind” that resonated with me at a very deep level.
In this new work, I have taken on a number of themes that have come into my line of sight. Living next to the sea in a fishing village, I have always been impressed with the condition of the junks and working boats, the way that the fishermen and working vessels are such a contrast to the leisure cruisers that are more like a show of status rather than an expression of personal utility.
Comparing this to the harrowing images of refugees sailing across the Mediterranean in vessels that seem hardly sea worthy but are flimsy, tottering and unsafe.
When Hannah Arendt published the Human Condition in 1958, it defined an ancient concept of Labor in a modern context. It seems that it is the human condition to aim to lead an active existence. The working boats may seem ramshackle, with odd additions and embellishments but further investigation reveals them to be practical improvements to solve a problem, or an example of decoration and personal embellishment expressing the human drive to create beautiful photogenic masterpieces that exemplify the “Vita Activa”.
This new work then, with its collage of textures and shapes that lead the viewer to consider the makers intentions and the implausibility of the piece as a functioning vessel, resonate on a deeper level when we take on concepts of survival, shelter and protection.
All the work is multi fired in an oxidizing atmosphere and is a combination of ceramic, steel, wood, stains, slips and glaze.