Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Four Weeks and Counting

The year is 2007.  Natalie Warrens is the President of the OPA and Ginger Steele and Beverly Curtis are the Chairs for Ceramic Showcase.

And Best of Show 2007 is Dennis Meiners.  You may recall from an earlier posting, that the Best of Show award was bestowed on Dennis in 1993.

I asked Dennis about his creative process and the evolution of "Crashing Horse Teapot" and this is what he had to say:

Best of Show 2007
Dennis Meiners
"Crashing Horse Teapot"
"Prior to making 'Crashing Horse Teapot' in 2007, I had been painting or drawing falling or fallen horses, mostly on clay, for several years, after noticing how interesting an upside down horse is to me both aesthetically and metaphorically.  Horses have been used in painting and sculpture, mostly right side up, as metaphors for humans and our strife and striving going back to the caves, it can be argued, and I've always been fascinated with them.  I've never owned a horse or even had much of a relationship with one, but they seem so mysterious.  Why some of them allow humans to run their lives is beyond me.

In the early 'aughts' I had also made a few stump teapots with horses in one predicament or another, mostly having fallen, and serving as finials on lids.  The stump teapots were, and still are to some extent, my main outlet for my thoughts and feelings about social and political issues, but in the winter and spring of '06-'07, I decided to take a stab at using only the horse, still as a teapot, and see what might happen.  The 'Crashing Horse Teapot', which was the 3rd or 4th attempt in that series, came about when I had the horse fall into a ring of upside down and jumbled houses, the houses having been an image I had used for about 20 years previously in many different ways, and which I haven't used much since.  Neither have I used the fallen horse much, and I wonder about that.

Given the chaos which seems to be rising all around us, it seems like the falling, fallen, crashed, jumbled, upside down images would be everywhere in my recent work, but they are not.  Perhaps, paradoxically, I've reconciled myself with the world somehow, and found a kind of peace.  It's intriguing and humbling to look back on my work and find out things have been happening to me which I hadn't noticed despite the fact the changes have occurred literally right in front of my eyes.  Not the first time for that realization.  As a person who daily tries to make art, I get to learn once more that the work I produce is a record of where I've been and who I am becoming."

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