work table : Mali (Landgrab series)

I began work off work on the floor/wall installation of the Land Grab series. I will experiment with several versions at first until I come upon that aha moment we all hope for in a new series. In addition to larger broken plates, my friend Myrna Tatar let me dig through her incredible studio to find all sorts of broken plates in her own stash. Oh my, was that fun! She has the same affinity for blue pottery as I do as you can see.

I walked away from her studio with several boxes of wonderful broken shards. As soon as I got home, I dove into work. One of the decisions I have to make is if these pieces should be on the floor or the wall. The floor is an obvious solution. When plates break, they're often found on the floor.

I've chosen to create a map of Mali for the first piece in the series. I have a total of fourteen countries that I will recreate. This first version uses a mix of larger and smaller broken plates.

Mali in progress (Land Grab series), 2012.
I chose to include major rivers in this series as water is being land grabbed just as much as the land is in these countries. This is where it gets tricky, locating the major rivers.

After starting this piece, I came across a much more detailed map. I also want to be sure to focus on the rivers that are most affected. More research, which I love.

I'm using the blue pottery to represent water, Blue Willow especially. For a few years I lived near several beautiful willow trees that lazily hung over a meandering creek. The funny thing was they were in a Burger King parking lot. Enough said.

Mali in progress (Land Grab series), 2012.
The next version will be made with larger shards, ideally more tightly bound. The nice element about this version though is the ability to place it on a wall to mimic the idea of 'wall plates' like you see in traditional homes.


Lindsay said...

What a strong idea! You are off to a great start on this. I like the idea that European inspired ceramics are being used to represent your countries. It adds to the political tension.

Lari Washburn said...

Boy that looks great already. I love the concept of the broken plates representing the breaking up of land...and ultimately the ability to feed themselves as a country. Wonderful new idea. Have you read Art and Fear? I'm sure you have, but it just such a true reference for artists I think.

kathrynclark said...

Thanks for the supportive words! Art and Fear, oh yes, read this book several times. It's sitting on my shelf in my studio, just seeing the title every now and then reminds me to just 'get on with it'!

claire said...

It's looking great, you should check out Richard Wentworth (if you haven't already). Can't wait to see how it all progresses!

**EYE-SNACKS** said...

oh, i'm so curious now ! it looks great..ahead a lot of promises :-)

kathrynclark said...

Thanks so much, Ingrid! Claire, thanks for the reference to Wentworth, I wasn't familiar with his work but love how he uses utilitarian objects, including plates! Must feature him now!

lisa s said...

so nice to see your process... can't wait to see where you go with this.... [i'm voting for floor - but maybe on a platform? or how bout a "fake" table?]

helensarahvaughan said...

looks great, looking forward to seeing your progress

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Kathryn. Very interesting that you're turning to mosaicking to express your driving idea. The shards suggest well the busting apart of nations and their resources as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And yes, water is the key to all. Indeed, the future is terrifying to contemplate. Bravo for your courage
best, nadia.


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