Name

Laura Freeman

About

Form and Void: Clay Spirits were originally a 100 piece celebration completed between 2009-2011, but new spirits continued to present themselves. As these spirits are formed in clay from emptiness, from stillness, a place before words, my recent intrigue has been to show the void, as well as the fullness of form. I try to allow the form to create the volume of void, just as the emptiness presses outward to define the form.

Clay Spirits: I work in clay by responding to the spirit and form inherent in each piece of clay. I rarely bring an idea of a figure to the clay, but seek in the clay mass the spirit of the figure. While working I balance on the precarious edge of leaving untouched what I see in the clay and my desire to change the clay, to ‘correct’ the position, musculature, or surface. Which mark do I leave as an action of the clay spirit and which do I remove because it distracts from the form or beauty? Since I respond directly to the figure I see in the clay, I am as surprised by the variety of figures as the viewer. Please see a preview of a book on the series, at http://www.blurb.com/books/2460860-clay-spirits

Bronze Spirits. These tumbling bronze forms allow me to experiment with movement in a way that clay cannot. Each bronze is a unique cast from a figure worked in wax without a model. They are interactive – enticing the viewer to move them. Their color, texture, movement and meaning, may be altered by the viewer if they are hung or spun, turned on their base or paired. Viewers creatively change these figures in more ways than I can think up. See one in motion at https://youtu.be/m7bdxVxSJC0

Miniatures. While teaching elementary art I discovered scientific illustration from one of our many artist guests. Scientific illustration comes with its own tools and conventions. I have adapted many of these into my miniatures. I enjoy the exclusive intimacy of creating miniature works, compared with the visceral interaction with larger works. These figures are from models. The animals I photographed in the wild, and continue to learn from in the studio.

Drawings. I began drawing pears as an act of reverence before consumption, and they, too, have taken on a life of their own. Usually a winter artform, following the comice and bartlett pear season, they allow me to study the full richness of a simple form, and the void over which that form flows.

Studies: Honored to have studied with Mark Oxman at The American University and Magdalene Odundo at The Haystack School, as well as continuous studies from Maine to Bali.

Teaching: Many venues from pre-school through college and continuing education. Though recently retired from a fabulous K-8 school in Midcoast Maine, I look forward to continuing teaching through volunteer work.

Exhibitions: Nationally for over 30 years, including galleries, and solo and juried group exhibitions.

Specialties

  • figurative sculpture
  • ceramic sculpture
  • bronze sculpture
  • drawing
  • miniatures