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Carol Gouthro – LH Project

Artist Statement

At the core of my ceramic work is the vessel which has many associations including nourishment, ripening, sexuality, and transformation. For the past 20 years the vessel forms in my work have slowly been evolving into sculptural, hybrid, organic, biomorphic forms. The ceramic surface remains very enticing to me and the transformative nature of ceramics, the process that happens when clay and glazes get fired in a kiln, fascinates and challenges me. I am drawn to ornament, embellishment, color and pattern. Color is one of the ways that I communicate emotion. I have a strong interest in detail and minutiae. When I start working on a new piece, I am often responding to something that I have seen that captivates me. It might be something very small, a seed, or flower petal, or it might be something I have seen in my tool drawer like the elegant line of a plastic French curve, or I might be stimulated by one of the many clay studies, bits and pieces of inspirational detritus that accumulate on my studio shelves over time. Sometimes it is language that motivates me. While I was building a garden for over 25 years, filling it with plants that inspired me, I also became enamored of their names. The language of plants, botanical nomenclature, seduced me. Words like resupinus and flammeus invite interpretation. In the Aurlia gouthroii series I have invented a genus of plants (Aurlia) that I named after myself gouthroii the plant discoverer. Another time I came across the word Anthozoa describing sea anemones in a biology text. Anthozoa literally means ‘flower animal’. I became fascinated with the idea of flower animals and this lead to the Portal Series, Anthozoa Fulfillment and Anthozoa Enticement. As I begin working I do not have an intent or interest in reproducing or replicating anything that I see but only in abstracting and translating these stimuli and feelings into a tangible, evocative object.