MFA Thesis Exhibit

Brittany Dias

Ceramic Art


Artist Statement

My sculptural practice embodies personal psychological and physical experiences, bridging the connections between the interior and exterior body, public and private space, and vulnerability. The essences of events or moments, emotions and physical responses, are materialized through clay and mixed media sculptures and drawings, relying on memory and recalling personal experiences.

The simultaneity of internal and external exposures of the body is presented as a whole. The term “body” is all-encompassing, referring to both the physical and mental attributes of the individual. The psyche is intangible — but is as real as the physical body. Abstraction allows elements of the physical and mental body to coexist visually. I translate my emotional turmoil and experiences through actions recorded in clay — giving the work the impression of my body, such as my hands clawing away, pushing fists deep into the material, or shaping by squeezing with a full body embrace, leaving a residue of my life— proof of existence. Emotional turmoil is rooted in dualities, contradictions, conflicting ideas, and anxiety — caught in a state of ambivalence, represented through ambiguous expression, residing within the grotesque.

I find beauty in the grotesque. Beyond the deterioration, tension, collapse or heaviness a sculpture may depict, there is a sense of standing up, standing tall; a resistance or the ability to prevail. While the work may depict emotional turmoil or struggle, this resistance is beautiful and optimistic. There is hopefulness, strength, and perseverance.