Growing up in Georgia, I was completely surrounded by the Appalachian wilderness and submerged myself in it with every minute of free time I had. It was always a place for me to escape the troubles I had and reconnect to a more peaceful mindset. To this day, I still turn to the forest and trees for comfort. This connection I have to nature was forever solidified when my childhood farm, Versanoia Equestrian Farm, was sold for commercial development. I had to watch as the place I called home for so many years was replaced by cookie cutter suburban houses. This event irrevocably changed my perspectives on the impermanence of nature and sparked an intense desire to protect the wilderness left on Earth and to inspire others to want the same. I am driven by this experience to create art that reflects these sentiments as a means of spreading them to a wider audience.
I create work that is about nature, but not with the typical narrative that focuses on humanity’s negative impact on Earth’s environments. Instead, my work exhibits the profundity of imperfection and chance by exploring the visual and conceptual vocabulary of the natural world. I display my work to viewers as a means of visually explaining the parts of nature that bring me feelings of solace and connection. I believe that if I can spark the idea of these feelings in people’s minds, that they would feel inspired to go into nature and experience it for themselves. It is my hopes that if enough people experience the emotional and spiritual value of the forest, then they will also be driven to protect them.
I create these works using my medium of choice, Ceramics. One of my favorite parts about the creative process is working with my hands and getting dirty. I prefer to work with clay because I can get elbow deep in Earthen material and create beautiful things from it. Another reason clay is the way is because, more often than not, my clay makes artistic decisions for me. The clay, colorants and kilns can all have a mind of their own at times, so going with the flow and incorporating happenstance events into my final pieces is all a part of the process. I choose to leave the flaws because I feel that this best reflects the imperfections in nature that I find so comforting. Most importantly, ceramics allows me to build sculptures that are large-scale, and asymmetric. The plasticity of the clay allows my work to take on a lot of weight and height, while still maintaining organic, Wabi-Sabi forms. In addition to this the raw, earthy quality of the clay allows me to emulate textures from the natural world, such as bark, moss, mushrooms, and rocks, onto the surface of my work.
©2021 Janna Guy, All Rights Reserved.
ceramics, glaze, trees, organic sculpture