Saba Besier

"My sculptural works are inspired by delightful freaks of nature, bringing awareness to their plight, but also celebrating the bizarre beauty of the many species we are losing due to climate change. The luminosity of porcelain adds an element of hope to the despondency of my subject."

Recovery - Porcelain and quartz on wood and iron base 36 x 83 x 26 in.

“I am a Pakistani-born, American artist and hold an MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. I am currently based in Dallas, Texas and have been an exhibiting artist for 25 years; showing my work both nationally and internationally.

My sculptural formations are both a celebration of oceanic organisms as well as an acknowledgment of the ecological trauma that is disrupting ecosystems as they disappear. Because of climate change, the ocean as a system is at risk, struggling to keep pace with human-caused conditions. The sculptural forms intermingle what could exist through caustic mutation or evolve on other planets, colonized if we deplete our own resources. These science-fiction-like growths combine plant, mineral, metal and human representations depicting the existence of other-worldly creatures, beauty molting out of hardened places.

In a way, this fantastical fluid transformation out of rigid materials symbolizes my own story. I found porcelain to be my primary medium due to its luminous characteristic, adding an element of hope to the despondency of my subject. I subscribe to the Bauhaus sensibility of combining intense relationship with the process of craft and Fine Art. Each work draws on a hard-earned expertise in the techniques of slab building, throwing, hand sculpting, metallurgy and alchemy. Mystical tension culminates from the unlikely organic mix of media combined with a nonconventional merging of artistries and a sense of movement constantly envisioned from years of professional video development.

Methods used in other cultures and eras meld with the discipline of formal art training. All of which conspire to bring these aquatic sculptures to life. I have chosen to maintain the inherent ivory coloration of porcelain in the forms to echo the bleaching that is happening to many sea organisms, and at times accompanied by black to signify the disruption they face.”

Inversion - Porcelain 26 x 26 in.
Detrahamus - Porcelain, quartz, copper, brass, steel and glass on wood base 36 x 38 x 38 in.
Dark Denial - Porcelain, chain link, glass, brass 18 x 32 in.
Pan's Peculiarities - Porcelain, glass, copper, brass, steel 27 x 17 x 14 in.

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


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Lenore Rae Lampi

"In stark contrast to past work, the new series explores the notion of adornment of the affordable kind. Ribbons, bows, and streamers in a historical context may evoke feelings of nostalgia, kitsch, and pomp. Allow me to reference Pop Art to describe the work, with the intention to monumentalize these humble objects."

Yucatan - Ceramics 14 x 16 x 16 in.

American artist, Lenore Rae Lampi recently exhibited sculptural work at Art Palm Beach 2020 and SOFA Chicago 2019 with Steidel Contemporary Gallery. She is scheduled to show at CONTEXT Miami, in December 2020 with Steidel Contemporary. Her bronze sculpture "Found Furls" was accepted for the Fahrenheit 2018 Biennial at the AMOCA Museum, Pomona, California.

Currently, Lenore Rae Lampi’s work can be found in the permanent collection of Tweed Museum of Art, Vermilion Community College and Cuyo University, Mendoza, Argentina, and touring in Finland. Private installations include a wall of work at the Marriott South West, Minneapolis. Several pieces of the Bling Series are on display in early September with A Way Online Art Gallery in the exhibit titled, Spectrum.

Chartreuse - Ceramics 13 x 14 13 in.
Homage to Celestún - Ceramics 18 x 19 x 11 in.
Lenore Rae Lampi
Powder Puff - Ceramics 18 x 12 x 14 in.

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


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Eleanor Swan

Born in: 1959, Dublin, Ireland

Lives in: Newbridge, Ireland

Media: Sculpture, Installation, Ceramics

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

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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

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"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 and follow me on Instagram @neufelddesign. 

Onwards and upwards.

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