Amber Aguire – Baby Nation, ceramic sculpture
Artist’s Statement for the Baby Nation body of work:
“Throughout history artists have functioned as social commentators. I see this as a sacred calling in my work. My mother is a Holocaust survivor who was interred in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. She has spent her adult life fighting for human rights and therefore I was brought up with the need to do the same in my own work. I attempt to explore issues of human rights, racism and terrorism with a sometimes humorous, edgy and confrontational attitude.
My current body of work consists of the character of Baby Nation. He represents the established routine that a new nation follows to ensure its survival and independence. This is done by military, economic and social separation and strength. The more we separate ourselves into borders based on religious, cultural or racial identity, the more we focus on the differences rather than the similarities in humanity. This is the formula that leads to racism, terrorism and genocide. Rather than coming together, we separate ourselves.
My visual language consists of narrative sculpture interacting with various references to art, contemporary culture and mythology. To accentuate the narrative I use various surface treatments to emphasize certain aspects of their nature. I use a surface technique that I developed that I call “Naked Fauxku”. This technique duplicates the look of Naked Raku but is done in an electric kiln with no reduction. It creates a cracked, painful look that contrasts nicely with the glossy glazes that I use in moderation. The use of colors and surface treatment is an important visual cue to the narrative.”