Paula Winokur

Porcelain is a material usually thought of as delicate, fragile and transparent. Considered the primary clay from which all other clays are derived, it comes from the earth as pure white, strong and durable. Fired it can resemble both snow and ice, depending on surface texture and treatment. Porcelain attracted me because of these qualities, rather than it’s transparency. I have chosen to work with this clay because it has allowed me to explore issues in the landscape without making literal interpretations. My work has been influenced by information gathered at various “sites”, places in the natural environment that I have responded to visually. The earth itself particularly cliffs, ledges, crevices, and canyons: the effects of wind, earthquakes, glaciers and natural phenomenon such as geological “shifts” and “faults” interest me.
In Iceland and Greenland I observed calving glaciers and huge icebergs. The works shown here are indeed abstractions of what I might have seen in my travels and some are informed by information gathered in various locations. For example the knowledge that icebergs float with 2/3 of their mass below the water and only the ‘tip” showing above has been the idea behind a series of wall pieces. “Black Ice” refers to the oil spill off the coast of Alaska some years ago. Glaciers Edge: Illulisat responds to that particular glacier seen from a small boat. It is not my intention to create literal images of what I remember but rather to present to the viewer the ideas lurking in my memory.

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