MFA Thesis Exhibit

Kirstin Willders

Ceramic Art


Artist Statement

My work is concerned with structures, the sacred, the senses, and the sublime. I utilize architectural foundation as an entry point to invisible structures, including social constructs, personal identity, notions of façade, and material hierarchy. The traditional function of the Classical structures in my work is often subverted or manipulated through design, material choice, and/or installation. I minimize architectural elements to a scale in direct relationship with the corporeal form. Using architectural framework as a surrogate, I strive to draw a direct connection between our somatic relationship to structured space and how our orientation within it affects perspective, experience, and meaning.

I seek to imbue my work with an agency that extends far beyond my own fingertips. Sensory information such as scent and light push the work further forward where I can no longer reach. Like a physical proprioceptive experience within a soaring architectural space, light and scent are encompassing and unavoidable. These sensations extend the gesture of the work into multiple dimensions of comprehension and in/tangibility. Although not the only points of entry, it is through these portals that the sacred & mystical realms can be accessed.

My studio practice is multidisciplinary. Ceramics, glass, and light are my primary materials. Ceramics and glass are antithetical to each other in structure, translucency/opacity, and strength. The tension between these materials creates a vibration and poetic relationship that informs when, how, and why I employ each in my work. Illuminated tubing (neon) provides an opportunity to harness light within a structural framework. Additional materials, such as hair, gold leaf, and glitter, are utilized for their material histories or the particular contexts and/or poetics that they bring to the work.