MFA Thesis Exhibit

Victoria Walton

Ceramic Art


Artist Statement

Victoria Walton b. 1994 is an emerging visual artist based in Baltimore. They have an MFA in Ceramic Art from NYSCC at Alfred University and a BFA with a focus in ceramics from Towson University. Victoria explores the wonder and complexity of Black identity, creating large-scale sculptures and video works that center the narratives of women and gender-expansive people. Walton draws from their own life: reflecting on the intersection of her identities and ongoing battle with her health. She further investigates the impact that historic societal factors and personal experiences have on the individual and the Black community, making multi-layered connections between clay and the body. 
The human body provides a framework for conveying the truth, harnessing the potential for great beauty and great discomfort. My work centers Black women and gender-expansive people, as I unpack the impact of historic societal factors and the complexities of personhood, for the individual and the community at large. Through levels of figuration from the bust to the full figure, I address the nuances of identity, the necessity of nonconformity, our relationship with trauma and resiliency, and the healing of wounds in the Black lived experience. I explore how we hold the sum of our histories: ancestral, lived, and present. This engagement of the body illustrates how the systems we inhabit build and break us down simultaneously.  
Ceramics are central to my work, as I create large sculptures that are in scale to the viewer. This relationship transmits an invitation to partake in emotional untethering and connection. Through textile collage and wood, I abstract the environment of the subject, prioritizing the importance of nature and the understanding of Blackness, disability, and queerness as natural. Through this landscape, I play with the beauty and decay of our surroundings that create opportunities for growth and trauma. Video work and performance have allowed me to directly insert my life story into the work, and build along these existing themes. With a multidisciplinary approach, I’ve created a language for this stability and this unraveling that resonates with my reflections on what it feels like to be alive.