Evoke is based on my reconnecting with familial roots and processing the passing of my mother and father. My mother lost her fight against COPD and emphysema in 2017. My father succumbed to lung cancer in 2018. In this ceramic work, I to experientially engage in what I consider to be the remainder of the grieving process. Growing up I can fondly remember swimming at our favorite spot, Poole's Mill covered bridge; playing bocce and walking the beach collecting shells; and my mom singing one of her favorite songs by Fleetwood Mac, Songbird. In this work, the ceramic lungs represent a juxtaposition of my existential concerns and memories of my parents.
The individual, hand-built pieces on exterior of the slip-cast lungs are smooth to the touch and remind me of the objects that I used to collect near the covered bridge or on the beach. As a whole, the lungs are fragile organs. The lungs must be nurtured and cared for by their user to remain in optimal condition. The same can be said of individuals and the relationships they foster with others. There is always the possibility that a tragedy could strike at any moment and obliterate even the healthiest of lungs. Simply dropping the porcelain lungs would shatter them into fragments. The silhouettes that are inside the lungs exist as the memory. The slip-cast lungs hold these silhouettes and with light, meaning life, passing through them and projects these images. The hand-built pieces outside of the lungs are tangible objects that bring me to recollect times spent with my parents. The sense of touch generates memories that are far more complex and long-lasting. Surface treatment on the lungs are coated with a clear glaze that form cracks underneath the surface. This is significant to my memories as it signifies not being able to make new memories with my mother and father.
Grief is a natural, normal, and vital response to death. It is made up of many different emotions ranging from sadness to anger to guilt and everything in-between. Adjusting to loss is a lengthy process and is unique to each and every person. To help process my final step of grief, acceptance, I have used ceramics to portray times spent with my parents and memories that will last forever.
My goal as a ceramic artist is to communicate my vision through the strength of the form and the characteristics of the pieces. Slip-cast and hand-built ceramic sculptures take the form of objects from nature that reflect place, environment, and time with memories of my parents.
Slip-Cast Porcelain, Hand-Build Porcelain, Led Lights, Wood
© 2019 Cody G. Thomas, All Rights Reserved
porcelain lung, translucent, lung cancer, sculpture, evoke, pooles mill, saint Augustine, songbird