Ann Mallory :: Artist Statement

Bundle #6, Celadon Glaze Ceramic

I favor clean volumes, minimal surface decoration and rightness of scale, which promotes a sense of wellbeing, serenity, and interior balance auspicious for thought. My work celebrates Man’s ceremonial and contemplative need for objects that elevate the rituals of living, encourage the powers of reverie, and add the strength of beauty to the soul.


The Casings series are sculptural vessels inspired by coverings more primitive, more elemental than a cocoon, self-excreted or self-constructed by many insects as protection for metamorphosis. Self-created protection is essential during times of dramatic change, whether that change is desired or circumstantially thrust upon us. My Casings metaphorically protect a spiritual, emotional condition of vulnerability, and give it dignity by cloaking it in beauty.


Since the early 1980’s I have been making an on-going series of ceramic and, more recently, bronze Contemplation Vessels that focus on the quiet, spiritual essence of containment. The forms are reminiscent of ancient sentinel boulders, holding ruminations as well as rain, leaves, sunlight and shadow. I make them because the heavens are there, in that silent center. There are now over a hundred such sculptures, and many of them have been acquired for gardens.


Inspiration came from lingam stones, a naturally occurring river tumbled rock found in India. “The Lingam shape (in India) represents the power of Shiva, Lord of Creation. Tradition holds that a Shiva Lingam stone contains a microscopic version of the universe, where the form represents the male energy of knowledge and the markings represent the female energy of wisdom. Possessing one of these stones is said to bring balance and harmony because of the mixture of male and female energies. This sacred stone relates to the Heart chakra and to the presence of love that resides in all of us.”


When Spring arrives, this type of bud swells and bursts on branches from lifeless wrappings that are scarred remnants of winter. The tortured cloaks of protection are pushed aside by miraculous new soft and smooth buds, eager to grow.

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