Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong, figurative ceramic sculpture
Gesture is what interests me. Body language is beguiling. Gesture naturally conveys movement but can also be passive or submissive, playful or seductive, regal and proud. Gesture can tell a story.
My studio practice has evolved into an ongoing exploration of figurative ceramic sculpture and installations created with paper-thin porcelain. I have a strong desire to avoid repetition, experiment with materials, and take risks to find originality in my work. I enjoy the process of discovery. Moving between the worlds of formal and conceptual ceramic sculpture and installation keeps me engaged in my studio practice and the work fresh.
Some sculptures are methodically planned, while others flow spontaneously from within. I remain open-minded, responding to my materials and the evolution of the creative process, searching for the unexpected in a sculpture. Gesture and form are essential elements in my figurative ceramic sculpture, influenced by my background in fashion photography. Sometimes I explore abstract or biomorphic territory and vessels with roots in organic matter take on an expressive human quality. I delight in this ambiguity, this duality, and this transformation.
Using porcelain, forms are thrown, cut apart, altered and reassembled using black slip. The surface is sponged smooth, dried, then sanded, to enhance the “stitched” effect of the scored black lines. I use these lines to an illustrative effect and sometimes the lines can express meaning. The process relates to the sewing skills I learned as a young girl, and specifically, pattern making.
Recent installations are constructed using mold making and hand building techniques in paper thin porcelain to create multiples of iconic imagery addressing issues of feminism, ecology and social observation. Gesture is evident in these works, too. The imperfections in the molds of women’s shoes, the collapse of a mold, the flutter of a wing, the fragility of paper-thin porcelain and use of other materials, add movement and conceptual meaning to the works. Some of my sculptures and installations are confrontational and that is my intent: to inspire curiosity, raise awareness, and incite positive action.
Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong