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Fall Symposium 2017

Building Narratives: Mythology & Poetry in Clay

Lauren Gallaspy

The fundamental contradictions of the ceramic vessel and the human body are the same: they are objects of both strength and fragility, though, in the end, the ceramic object will always outlive us. This urgent attempt at immortality remains an essential appeal of ceramics to me. Why do I make what I make? I wish to tell stories that might outlive me. 
The stories I tell center around the vulnerability of living things and the almost always complex consequences that occur when bodies and objects come into contact with one another. I use imagery of the grotesque and the mundane to depict the pains, pleasures, and longings of being human and, in particular, being female. I want to make objects that demonstrate skill as a kind of devotional act, resulting in pieces that are delicately crafted yet still reflect processes of transformation, chaos, discovery and decay. I see my work as a contemporary evolution of objects within the long history of narrative painting on ceramic forms. Like much of the historical ceramic objects before me, my work is born out of a central conceit of the human body as a living vessel.


NCECA Interview with Lauren Gallaspy

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