Gallery shots of my B.F.A. Exit Show!   

Belongings

BFA Ceramics Exhibition,  Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, GA 

Belongings

BFA Ceramics Exhibition,  December 4-11, 2014,  Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Belonging (n.) 

Something that belongs.
The things that a person owns or has with him; possessions; effects
Secure relationship; affinity (esp in the phrase a sense of belonging)

My four grandparents passed from this life either before I was born or before I was old enough to know them.  Most, if not all, of what I know about their lives has come to me through stories acknowledged by material things that were once their belongings.  

These works are not about finding pride in possession, storing up treasures, material wealth, or the objectification of souls.  As I grew older, my idea of my grandparent’s belongings changed from a sort of child-like idolization to a mature appreciation of them. Recreating and drawing portraits from these objects recognizes a reverence for them as artifacts that tell us stories, reveal truths, and make known characteristics about those whose lives and decisions directly affected the world into which I was born. 

The physicality of the clay medium ensured a process of intimate discovery and stands analogous to the tangible effects that the past still holds on our present lives.  The permanence of fired clay recognizes the lasting quality that these belongings hold as they continue to live beyond the lives of my loved ones.  And yet, if any of these works were to fall, they would instantly break. The fragility of ceramic reminds us of both the fragility of this life and the impermanence of the material world. 

Belongings will never reveal souls or bring them back to life. They cannot define us or give us worth.  My grandparents’ legacy lives on through people, not through belongings. Yet I do cherish the stories, illustrations, personalities, likenesses, and characteristics - both significant and trivial that their belongings share with us. 

I do not worry or dwell on why these four passed away before we could form tangible relationships, for as a wise voice once said: “Duties are ours.  Events are the Lord’s.” 

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Made in loving memory of:
Edith Durham Shurley:   G-mama        (1921- 1989)
Emory Smith Shurley:   Papa         (1919-1995)
Isaac William Cousins, Jr.:   Granddaddy       (1928-1991)
Claire Wilkins Cousins:   Grandma Claire        (1932-1973)