December 4, 2012

Gaze and Glaze

Ceramic cups and teapots by Isobel Thom as part of the exhibition 'The Berlin Years' with Saskia Leek, shown at the Hamish McKay Gallery 18 October - 10 November.

Sometimes objects are so beautiful their presence overwhelms their functionality. I have always liked to think that I would be the person who would use such things in my everyday life - and thus get the most pleasure out of them, having been incorporated into the drudgery of my routine. Then again, I broke one of my prized glasses with a picture of a vintage car on it, and am still ruing my carefree attitude towards possessions I do actually care about.

The angular shapes of the tea sets and the stackable nature of the cups are so alluring - all those modernist sensibilities captured and executed on a small scale, while imbued with a sort of zen calmness and the practiced movements of the Japanese tea ceremony. The tea pots themselves have an almost Communist feel about them, their shape and twisting lid seemingly reflecting the hammer and sickle.

I am drawn more and more towards art and designs more closely aligned with craft arts - textile crafts such as embroidery and knitting, ceramics, whittling, jewellery, the making of objects. I am at a sort of cross roads in my life at the moment, and I am not sure what I am wanting to do. All I know is that I do not want my career to be 8 hours a day sitting stationary in front of a computer, and I want to do something with my hands. I believe this is why my artworks are delicate, time consuming and hand made. It is a way of combating the pull of the internet - a direct backlash to the power of technology. Crafts seem to defy the claims that everything can be done on a computer.

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