My queerness is ever evolving, and I want my work to reflect that. Simply by being a queer person, I am deviating from societal expectations, so I have created a body of work which challenges the expectations of ceramics. I have distorted the feminine vessel form, used spray paint instead of glaze, left some pieces looking unfinished. Pink and purple holds significance within queer culture, particularly to lesbians. I have used plaster, a material which is usually used in the construction of other objects, to communicate the development of identity. This work both belongs and doesn’t – the way the pieces interact with each other symbolises community, but the way they appear to take over parts of the room aims to evoke a slight sense of discomfort. Whilst I have used making to process some heavy feelings surrounding my queerness, I wanted the outcome to be a playful expression of identity.
I made my ceramic vessels by turning a plaster form on the lathe. I used this form to make a four piece mould which I could then slip cast multiples of. I took some of the clay forms out of the mould whilst they were still malleable, which gave me the ability to distort them slightly. I want the distortions in my work to represent the way I view my non-binary self as someone who was born with a feminine body.
Pink and purple hold great significance in queer history and culture, with my research particularly focusing on the significance to lesbians. I have found “Dressing Dykes”, a blog by lesbian fashion historian Eleanor Medhurst, to be a great source of information surrounding lesbian culture to inform my work.
I hope my work encourages playful self discovery. Many of my pieces reference one’s past self. Some of my ceramic forms have many developing iterations of the same form. Others I have painted with many layers of acrylic paint, and sanded away at to reveal the layers of colour. Previous version’s of one’s queer self is just as important as the present version, and it is so exciting that the future holds room for even further exploration and growth. The firing of my ceramic work signifies the permanence of a sense of self, whilst also being able to fluidly explore the realms of one’s identity.