Eleanor Swan

Born in: 1959, Dublin, Ireland

Lives in: Newbridge, Ireland

Media: Sculpture, Installation, Ceramics

Describe your work in 3 words: Sincere, thoughtful, happy

See More Work:  www.eleanorswan.com

Just Listen - Ceramics

"After working in clay for so many years I am beginning to realise that my art is a form of storytelling. There is great freedom in that and it allows me to respond to the world around me in so many different ways."

What themes does your work involve?
My themes can be varied according to the particular project I am working towards, but in general they have a political narrative or are a social comment on issues that exist in our world today.
Describe your creative process.
If I make a piece of sculpture and it has meaning for me, if I possess its reason for being and can justify the thought process behind it, then I have succeeded in creating a piece of art. I begin with an open mind, I rarely make notes or drawings but when I am in the process of making, in my head I have an idea of a sequence of moves I would like to try. There is a a kind of rush when you are pulling and pushing all these angles together to articulate something and you have to hold your nerve. Its almost a game of control , trying to get it to work but then there is a moment when it begins to breath and develops a presence of its own. Its thrilling, its difficult to say how I know a work is finished, but I always know and love that moment when I down tools and stand back.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
'Life' influences and inspires my work! I am not good with words and I agonise when asked to write something. But making art and the making process allows me to express myself in a deeper more meaningful way and gives me great joy.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Art is a very personal thing. No two people see a work of art in the same way but if a painting, sculpture, ceramic bowl etc can reach your soul and stir an emotional response then that is more important than anything. A favourite quote of mine is from Ann Hamilton 'The Body and the Object': "A work of art should interest the eye, excite the brain, move the mind to reflection, involve the heart and come at us from an unexpected angle and stop us short in wonder."
What is the role of the artist today?
I don't think anyone chooses to be an artist like you choose to be an accountant or a scientist. An artist is a way of being, a way of life. My earliest memories of being creative go back to the age of six. While I was always being creative in one form or another, I trained and worked as a nurse for 25 years before leaving the profession to go to art college, from that moment on I felt I could finally be 'me'. I think art it hugely underestimated for the value it has to offer in our everyday lives. It teaches us to see think differently and provides us with a way to express ourselves without constraints and rigid rules......and allows great freedom of thoughts.

 


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Helga Palasser

"Art is food for our souls. I am trying to make my very personal perception visible through my art language."

BETWEEN - Clay burnt with bark 60 x 60 x12 cm

Helga Palasser is a trained sculptor from Austria who gained her diverse working experience especially by traveling to different places around the world like California, Nepal, Zimbabwe, and several European countries. One of her specialties is modelling portraits out of clay giving them a unique liveliness and familiarity that goes far beyond mere depiction. Besides this realistic approach, a strong impetus towards abstract forms characterizes her work although there is always a concrete experience in which these forms are grounded. In her recent work, Palasser focusses on the subject of interculturality and connects the process of artistic production with intercultural exchange. Her latest work in this respect was exhibited at Venice ART Biennale “Personal Structures” 2019.

Helga’s work is characterized by figurative motifs as well as abstract forms. The heavy compact material of clay is transformed into light fine shapes that could occasionally give the impression of drawings when looked at from the distance. When looked at closer, the corporal aspect of weight imposes itself without diminishing the lightness of the forms, however. 

BUTTERFLY - Clay with blue pigment 38 x 27 x 14 cm
THIRD SPACES: The Bridge to the Other is Imagination - Clay installation 230 x 210 x 15 cm
Desert Rose - Clay burnt 35 x 35 x 21 cm
FLOW of WAVES - Clay installation120 x 80 x 12 cm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


 

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Nathan Neufeld

Born in: 1992, United States

Lives in: Kansas City, Kansas

Media: Sculpture, Digital Media, Performance, Installation, Mixed media, Ceramics, Jewelry

Describe your work in 3 words: Exploration - Discovery - Interaction

See More Work:  NathanNeufeld.com

Monolith

"Much of my work stems from a passion for exploration. Like the author of a book you can't put down, I strive to share this sense of exploration, discovery, and revelation with to viewer and user."

First and foremost a big Thank you to Circle foundation for continuing to provide these opportunities. I am honored to receive first place for this Artist of the Month competition.

One of the more exciting future projects I am working towards at the moment is the invention of a process. The process has 2 major parts, one a software that generates and develops ceramic formulations for clay bodies and surface treatments, such as glazes. The second is a robotic system that takes those recipes and distributes the necessary ingredients and amounts for each formulation from miniature silos. The first body of work I am envisioning to result from this process is a series of modular geometries that can come together in three dimensions, each module made of their own unique recipe. These would come together in formations that would echo the relationships between the recipes. For example, imagine the structure of a  spider web. From a central formulation -- we have hundreds of strains branching out, all related in diminishing degrees to their neighbors. Now imagine this in three dimensions.

Much of my work stems from a passion for exploration. Like the author of a book you can't put down, I strive to share this sense of exploration, discovery, and revelation with to viewer and user.

 

To join me in my Odyssey, check out NathanNeufeld.com and follow me on Instagram @neufelddesign. 

Onwards and upwards.

Cube
Rotate
Queen Bee Teaset
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Monarch Chandelier

 


Holly Wilmeth was selected for the 2nd Place Award in the CFA Artist of the Month April/May 2020. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Anneli Di Francis

"I want to give a visual form to non-visual things that matter; feelings, right and wrong, hopes that go unfulfilled and love, that is bitter and sweet at the same time."

What Is It? - Ceramics and aluminium 31 x 14 x 11 cm

Born in 1965 in Finland,  Anneli Di Francis has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries in South Korea, Germany, Iran, Macedonia, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, and Finland. She has been published in notable editions including International Contemporary Masters, WWAB, 2016, Art Market Shop, édition spéciale par Art Monaco 2016, Arte Collezionismo 2016, Effetto Arte Numero 5, Settembre/Ottobre 2015, ATIM’s Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art, ATIM, 2015, Important World Artists, WWAB, 2013 and her works belong in collections including the Haegeumgan Theme Museum, Geoje, South Korea, Seinäjoki Community Art Collection, Raahe Community Art Collection, Janita Co. Art Collection, Kuortane Library Art Collection and more. Di Francis is a member of International Culture & Arts Federation, Varikko Association, Bothnian Artists Association, International Biennale Artists, Artnations, Arts And Peace Society and Circle Foundation for the Arts. 

Autumn - Ceramics 28 x 22 x 21 cm
A Stag And A Bird With Drinks At The End Of The World - Oil on canvas 55 x 73 cm
Deception - Ceramics 25 x 21 x 14 cm
The Yellow Lemon - Oil in canvas 98 x 78 cm

"I’m constantly searching new ways to give a visible form to ideas and feelings in both of my sculptures and paintings. I prefer circulated vintage tablecloths etc. as a base for my paintings, because of their unique surface structure. Also, it gives me a feeling of connecting to past generations, creating layers of time by giving new life to old material, woven by hands long deceased."

Rabbit Hole Hand built ceramics, 25 x 17 x 16 cm
Scream Hand built ceramics and glass 11 x 12 cm
Dark Side Of The Moon Hand built porcelain, 19 x 9,5 x 10 cm
La Vie En Rose Hand built porcelain, 18 x 8 x 11 cm
False Identity Hand built ceramics 49 x 23 x 10 cm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


 

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Weiting Wei

"In my work, the paper lotus is inspired by the lotus pods without seeds. It brings forth a feeling of being left out. These empty lotus pods reference my experience with postnatal depression. My sculpture uses traditional elements to explore very personal, yet universal, experiences of motherhood."

Incision 3 - Print paper and wax 10 x 10 in. (11 pieces)

Weiting Wei (b. 1984, FuJian China) received her MFA in Visual Art from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2018. She is a multimedia artist creating works out of paper, wax, clay, and soap. Her sculptural work uses traditional elements to explore very personal, yet universal, experiences of motherhood. The lotus is used as a central theme to represent humanity. In Chinese culture, the lotus symbolises perfection, and ultimate purity of the heart and mind because it rises untainted and beautiful from the mud. Weiting creates numerous works that feature the lotus in different states to express this lifecycle and the beautiful struggles we experience as we grow.

Be A Light Sleeper - White Porcelain 12 x 12 in.
Embrace - White Porcelain 5 x 9 in. and 5.5 x 11 in.
Lotus.Baby - White Porcelain 4 x 4 x 7 in.
Incision 1 - News print paper and wax 14 x 42 in., 12 42 in. and 10 x 42 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


 

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Eva Cocco

"I am a self-taught sculptor and by far my favorite narrative tool is porcelain. Besides other things, I am a sci-fi geek and through my pieces, I talk about meandering cities and tortuous architectures, about heritage and ancestral stories, entropy and chaos, life and death in this and other planets."

N.025 - Stoneware 16 x 14 in.

Ceramic artist, Eva Cocco was born on the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy where she grew up surrounded by nature and wild things. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Architecture Roma TRE University, a Master’s of Urban Design at Roma TRE University Italy (2007) and Master’s in Landscape Design at The City College of New York (2011). She lives and works in New York City.

“I strongly feel the nature of my island is in me and the sea I grew up with is always, sometimes even unconsciously, represented in my pieces. My passion for ceramic came early on, when I moved to Sag Harbor where I lived several years, I discovered this life-changing material and practice and it grew in me fast and exponentially. Now I am a self-taught sculptor and by far my favorite narrative tool is porcelain.”

N.027 - Aegean white porcelain 13 x 10 in.
 N.000_C - White porcelain 12 x 4 in.
N.004 - White porcelain 19 x 12 in.
N.015 - White porcelain 19 x 13 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


 

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