Hello May, it is nice to see you.

by frogpondsrock on May 2, 2012

in ceramics,Grief,thinking out loud

April was very hard this year and I spent an awful lot of time being very, very sad. Next April I am not going to make any plans or commit myself to any exhibitions or anything. I am just going to eat cake and be kind to myself for the whole month.

I often wonder what impression of myself I give to people who read this blog.

The ceramics that fulfill me are made using pieces of plastic that have been inside dead birds. This plastic came out of the stomachs of only three Flesh Footed Shearwaters on Lord Howe Island.

And so using this plastic I made this work.

These cigarette lighters came out of the stomachs of Laysan Albatrosses on the Kure Atoll in Hawaii in 2009.

Using these lighters to make marks in the clay, I made these porcelain touchstones.

I take photographs of roadkill and I cry for my mother a lot .

The ceramic cooperative that I am a part of, has a shop in the Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart. On my days in the shop, some time is always spent chatting to the other shop owners and members of similar cooperatives. One of these people is Viv, a lovely bubbly woman,with busy hands, always pricking a piece of felt or sewing bits of something together as we chat away each week. Viv was quite shocked by my ceramic touchstones and dead bird bowls. “But you are the most irrepressibly cheerful person I know,” exclaimed Viv in horror when I told her what I used to make the marks in the touchstones.

Viv’s bafflement has stayed with me in the back of my mind and I bring the thoughts out every so often and examine them.

I am also the most irrepressibly cheerful person I know as well and even though I make such sad, sad work, the work makes me happy.

I think this next photo is the woman that Viv sees. I didn’t have my teeth in when David took this photo and I am far far too vain to be photographed sans teeth. So that is why parts of my cat hat is artfully draped across my face. *grins*

So I really hope that I don’t give the impression that I am eternally gloomy, because honestly, inside my head it is a never ending Monty Python skit.

Beware of Rabbits.

{ 9 comments }

Marita May 2, 2012 at 9:43 am

May is our April.

It is such a weird month, the joy of Annie’s birth, Mothers’ Day, my best friend S birthday.

The anniversary of my mother in laws death, the anniversary of Heidi’s diagnosis, the anniversary of the death of husbands Aunty, the month his fathers lung cancer was first noticed.

May is an emotional roller coaster.

frogpondsrock May 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

It used to be September for me. Funny isn’t it how a month can have such an effect on us when really it is just full of ordinary days like any other month. xx I will have you in my heart this month lovely. xx

Jo May 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

Hi purple hatted cat woman ! Just popped by after such a long time. Inspiring to read your words again. Your new ceramic work using the ‘stomach plastic’ does tell such a sad story. But…. I know the woman telling the stories of this ‘plastic nightmare horror’ is a joyful bird. Xx Jo

frogpondsrock May 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hi Gorgeous. How are you? I miss you, we NEED to catch up sooner rather than later.

Pixie May 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

No words.

Just hugs and love

Beet May 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm

the pic of the lighters made me gasp in horror! Not because I think the work itself is depressing, but because I can see elements of my own carelessness in what inspires your work. I recognise some of the objects you are using as ones that I very casually throw away and realise that I need to be more mindful to make sure they end up where they can’t cause any harm to wildlife.

Yes, where you get your pieces of plastic and lighters from is perhaps shocking or horrifying to some, and just plain morbid to others but I would never have considered it a reflection of you personally – You are telling a story that needs to be told with your work.

But then I’ve been known to make a chalk outline around dead gheckos and turn the pics into blog posts so what would I know ;) lol xxx

Elephant's Child May 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Happy May to you. Your ideas for future April’s sound most excellent. More cake, less grief.

Sometimes I am ashamed to be human. And then an artist like you creates lasting tangible beauty out of some of the things that I am ashamed of. Thank you.

PS: I think the cheery people are often the ones who are aware of, and feel the sadness as well. Flip sides of the same coin. I love your purple cat hat, and haven’t felt the same about rabbits since I saw that movie.

river May 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

That’s a lot of plastic bits from only three birds!
I’m so careful now to put all my plastic bits in the recycle bin and I never throw rubbish just on the ground anywhere, although that’s not new, my parents impressed upon me very early, the need to put my rubbish properly in a bin.

Sadly, there’s still too many people who just don’t know or care.

I LOVE your cat hat.

Sharon @ Funken Wagnel May 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

Kim, I often wonder about whether I seem whiney or miserable all the time on my blog, when in reality, I’m quite chirpy and am always joking around as well! It’s not that we’re lying or being fake, just expressing certain things in the places that work best for us.

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