Saturday, 16 April 2016

'Diluvian delft', cobalt paintings on porcelain

This series of work carries the name of the larger body of work, Diluvian Delft exhibited at Knysna Fine Art in March 2017. This title draws on mythological and broad cultural and historical instances. The term 'diluvian' refers to the biblical flood (a narrative supported in archaeological and geological trace; as well as occurring in numerous global origin myths). In particular I am interested in the transformational power of the flood. On a literal level, the apocalyptic proportions of the biblical flood resembles our anthropocene condition, where climate change threatens to radically alter the face of the earth, and thereby human culture. On a metaphysical level, the flood, signifies the transient flux of life, time, and experience. My interest in blue ware ceramic (porcelain) decorative practices is longstanding, and takes centre stage in in this body of work, which draws on the rich and diverse decorative traditions and potentials of the medium. The dialectical characteristics of porcelain: volcanic, strong, and eternal; while simultaneously fragile, serves as a fitting metaphor for the populist, mythological and contemplative subject matter of the work. The colour blue is a significant element in this body of work, both aesthetically and metaphorically; being the colour of the sea (flood), planet earth, and a colour associated with both decorative and spiritual human traditions.

Ann-Marie Tully, Diluvian delft: Pompeii II. Porcelain, cobalt, glaze. 230mm diameter.

Ann-Marie Tully, Diluvian delft: Pompeii I. Porcelain, cobalt, glaze. 230mm diameter.

Ann-Marie Tully, Diluvian delft: Pompeii III. Porcelain, cobalt, glaze. 230mm diameter.

Ann-Marie Tully, Diluvian delft: Frida and Watteau's donkey. 
Porcelain, cobalt, glaze. 230mm x 170mm.

These delft-style porcelain discs and plaques break with the ceramic blue-ware tradition of ‘easy' decorative subject matter, employing more challenging cultural subject matter: in this instance that of the art remains of a natural cataclysm at the classical cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; and the surreal image of a Frida Kahlo style figure dragging a donkey-like form or skin through water.

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