Sarah Davis MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014
Everything Falls Apart But Nothing Ever Does
Through this project I set out to reposition the event of collapse, from that of a socially formidable and customarily detrimental occurrence, to an unavoidable, necessary, and productive stage within cycles of growth and change. The theme of “collapse” emerged when my study of systems thinking and activism crossed paths with the exploration of an unusual form of ceramic raw material, clay tape. A delicate and finicky material, clay tape may be manipulated and used in ways similar to textiles or vinyl, but the ingredients which bestow those properties burn off early in the firing process, causing the ceramic material to give in to the laws of gravity more easily and completely than traditional clay. While the collapse of any 3-D form is inevitable, the unique beauty of the drape and fold that results speaks of the creative potential available within the synthesis of control and acceptance.
I intended to create an assemblage of objects; each constructed from the accumulation of minor collapses, to be displayed as an abstracted still life reminiscent of a cityscape, an emergent pattern. However, unable to amass sturdy form from what amounts to an ephemeral material, the goal to abstractly portray optimism within collapse led me to develop a practice of generating transitory objects as sculptural raw materials. My practice itself has come to embrace and reflect the cycle of change which inspired this project. Less attached than ever to any object I create, I have a pattern of making, a recurrent cycle of generation, coalescence, collapse, and regeneration.