Collection: Specific Planet, Selected By Katherine Lam (online exhibition)
About the exhibition
Clay captures the mark of the human hand unlike any other medium. While it is almost obvious to consider it balm for our techno-centric world, its superpowers are undeniable: what other material, in its earthiness/tactility/associations, reminds us that we have hands/mouths/feet and connects us with past/present/future in a single work.
This selection of works captures the direct marks of NIAD artists living and working in our local creative community. These sculptural objects represent a dip into the continuum of conversations humans have with clay -- via functional pottery, ritual artifacts, portraiture, craftivism, the blob -- the ongoing interpretation and reinterpretation of life, evoking the familiar and offering glimpses into complex interior worlds.
A classmate from my art school days said, “artifacts always win.” As a young art student I had a limited understanding of her statement. Today my interpretation of her words is that handmade objects have a unique longevity because coded into them, whether through material, technique or mark of the maker, is a specific time and place. Humble, concrete evidence of our history on this planet. A record of the myriad ways we are human, the ways we live and create.
About the selector
Katherine Lam is an Assistant Professor of Furniture & First Year Program at the the California College of the Arts (CCA) in Oakland and San Francisco. A graduate of the CCA Furniture Program (1998) Katherine’s 20-year career as a designer and consultant is dedicated to craft and the handmade object. A Bay Area native, they currently live and work in Oakland, California.