movie day: Ceramic artist Joy Trpkovic

Joy Trpkovic is an award winning ceramic artist. She works predominantly in porcelain, creating distinctive translucent vessels, wall installations and collections of tiny sculptures inspired by sea forms, strata, fossils and funghi. Joy studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College in London, Portsmouth University and University of Sussex. Her Fine Art education as a painter enriches her work as a studio ceramicist and allows her to approach using clay with aesthetic and technical freedom. After teaching Art for some years, Joy set up her own studio. Since 1979, her work has been widely exhibited in Britain, Europe and the U.S.A; in Minnesota, Zurich, Basle, New Delhi and most recently, Alcora, Spain; and she has enjoyed numerous solo exhibitions in England. Joy’s work is held in public collections at Southampton City Museum and Art gallery, Leicester County Council and the Permanent Collection at the Museum of Ceramics, Alcora, Spain. Creating with porcelain that has been aged to increase plasticity for hand building, Joy uses only the simplest tools – fingers, the palm of a hand, a scalpel, a small boxwood stick and fine paintbrushes. Joy prefers direct contact with the clay rather than casting or throwing, although her preferred process is much more time consuming. Joy aims for delicate translucency in her work and enjoys the risks inherent in using porcelain as it grows and shrinks during firing – Her thinnest vessels are made from 0.5mm sheet. Mini sculptures are assembled in bespoke acrylic box frames to enable all round viewing and light passing through. Some Shard Wall Pieces are inserted into board and then framed with museum glass to avoid reflections.

emerging artist: Brian McNamara

Artist Statement:
My current body of work entitled Seven-Sevenfold, focuses on the rocky relationship I’ve built with religion as a means of identity. In constructing a narrative of my life in the Catholic Church as a bleak landscape, I have situated isolated ceramic pieces with desolate ink drawings. My use of clay references the convention of creation myths, such as God creating man from dirt in Genesis 2:7. In this way I act as creator to my own abominations.

My whole life has revolved around storytelling. My favorite stories were alwaysthe ones that were about society and the leaders of society. Stories that have a utopian society broken by a character revealing it as dystopia: such as Ayn Rand’s Anthem and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, even The Bible. I look to these books with a critical eye and place them in the context of my own life to inspire my art, my aesthetics, and my morality. Through these books I’ve learned what it means to find the idea of ‘self’, what it means to experience, and what it means to love.

In the same way storytelling is rooted in folk tradition, I approach my artwork as an adaptation of traditional folk ceramics. I create figures in a gestural way, leaving the mark of my hand and using a loose-hand built method of construction. When thinking of a composition I pull influence from the Muromachi period of Japanese Suibokuga. The loose and gestural scroll drawings provide a much-needed harmony to the rough material and surfaces of the ceramic pieces.

For guidance in the creation of Seven-Sevenfold, I investigated the number seven and its prominence in The Bible. This body of work features seven landscapes to represent a dystopian viewing of the utopia given to the Israelites after the 40 years of wandering mentioned in Deuteronomy; mirrored in this relationship between the abominations and the alien desert landscapes that I created.

Through the lens of the Catholic Church I am that abomination; set out on my journey through the desert to find my utopia, whether or not it exists.