Mali, Land Grab series

Day one back in the studio after a long summer and I finished round one of the Mali map in the new Land Grab series.

Mali, Land Grab Series, 2012 by Kathryn Clark. Broken porcelain plates and clay pots. 5' x 5' 
I was able to accumulate enough plates from thrift stores and this friend and this new friend to make it happen. See that beautiful hand painted dish in the foreground? Pieces like this certainly add a level of depth I didn't have before. This piece was handmade in Egypt.

I still have two more days and counting before my daughter is back in school and I can be in the studio full time again. And that's when I'll sit down and start writing about this series.

I've noticed there's a lot more discussion of our food in the news these days, although that might be because I'm in California where Proposition 37: label our GMO's, is the top story. I'm guessing you can tell which side I'm on. It's getting nasty with Monsanto throwing a lot of money to fight it. This is just one of the issues that comes out of the global land grab and industrial mono-culture farming that results.

Mali, Land Grab Series detail, 2012 by Kathryn Clark.
Broken porcelain plates and clay pots. 5' x 5' 
There are so many little facets of information that I need to summarize in one succinct paragraph. A definite challenge as a writer!

In other news, I have three more artists to share with you in the next two weeks. I can't wait!


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.


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