Scripps 73 Annual, “A Sense of Place and Play”
For the 73rd Scripps Annual, Joan Takayama-Ogawa proposes a clay exhibition exploring the theme, “A Sense of Place and Play.” This exhibition will feature fully seasoned ceramic artists who hold an intimate relationship with a certain place, providing the artist grounding, and meaning. They work in a playful dreamscape, where their hands shape a regional, personal, narrative, and historical context seen in their work.
A sense of place is not new, rather, an old view diluted today by globalization, mobility, and virtual worlds. These artists sense a connectedness to the rural or urban landscapes they inhabit, not typical in today’s restless world. Luckily for us, these artists hold histories that have power, sustaining power, speaking power, sacred power. Their historic traditions speak to us as they comment on the place they inhabit. We want to see what they see, understand what they know, feel what they yearn, remember what we have forgotten, and play directly in clay like they do. Our senses are quickened by the fragility of the earth and clay, and what other material has a closer relationship to earth than clay? Perhaps we sense that place and play are disappearing, and our connection with earth is in trouble.
Special attention is placed on finding masterful artists whose work is a testament of whom they are, the environment/culture in which they live, and their specific areas of their expertise. Their work is truly innovative, even rejecting reason, creating work that becomes authentic voices of our times. They are fearless of failure and fail until they get it right. Their work ranges from narrative content or technical perfection or functional beauty of everyday use or observers of their habitat. They are Americans who are making ceramic history, who have worked in their clay studios at least 20 years, and who have not been featured in previous Scripps Annuals. They have figured out a way to find “bread” as a way of demonstrating that a life in clay is not only possible but a genuine life which can be achieved.