Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Brooks Oliver


2009, Wheel-thrown porcelian, steel, light, size variable

Human relationships provide an irreplaceable framework that weaves together a series of interactions that contribute to an individual’s sense of identity. My work illustrates this relationship. By creating vignettes primarily from wheel-thrown ceramics, I demonstrate the strength and struggle that comes as a by-product from forming intimate connections.

Ceramics are generally conceived as utilitarian objects. My work demands a more sculptural interpretation while still maintaining elements of functionality. People do lend human sensibility to such utilitarian objects. In this context, pottery lends itself flawlessly to personification as a metaphor for the potency of human emotion.

In Links the idea was to take over 1,000 individual pieces of clay (created on the potter’s wheel), link and entwine them together to form a larger communal structure. These “links” and the ways in which they are connected are meant to resemble individuals in a society and how they form relationships and support one another. While clay is indeed brittle and can break under the right conditions (like so many human relationships), few people know the strength of clay and how it can be pushed to support demanding amounts of weight. This piece is not only meant to show the strength of clay, but also the strength of the human relationship.

Brooks Oliver - Links

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