Gallery exhibition highlights ceramics student's search for belonging

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 8:53 AM

“(Be)long,” a master of fine arts thesis exhibition by ceramics student Alana Wilson, ran from April 1-5, consisting of several wall pieces, pots and cups (with the color blue heavily utilized), and more.

According to Wilson, she uses blue and white to highlight the historical notoriety of blue imagery on white porcelain. She has also recently begun using cobalt blue as an aesthetic choice, particularly for its running effect, which is meant to represent “blurry” memories in a nostalgic sense. 

Her experience with ceramics began about 15 years ago while working at a community center. She had originally planned to work with textiles, yet had more fun with what she does now and is considering the opportunities of residencies and teaching. 

She moved around often when she was younger and looks to channel feelings of being and longing, hence the show’s name.

This topic is something that Wilson thinks about a lot, and throughout the nearly two years going into this project, she says this focus gave her the chance to be more thoughtful about her work and why she was making it, combined with it adding a touch of sentimentality. 

The clouds “are about daydreaming,” and the exhibit as a whole serves as a narrative — a way for her to tell her story “without it being too literal.”

Clay is an interesting material to her as almost anything can be done with it. Now that her thesis is finished, she is planning to incorporate more colors and different forms, but with no particular type in mind. 

Her future plans include moving away from making primarily pots and shelves, while looking to also create something more introspective, as in showing what home means to her and looking into more joyful and playful feelings. She especially wants to use wall patterns and shapes as inspiration, since she feels that several colors in a repeating form is joyful to look at.

If one looked closely enough at the show, one could see people with houses as heads, which come from pictures of Wilson as a child and from the houses she lived in. 

Her prior experiences are “a big part of [her] story as a human being” and has shaped a lot of what she does and who she is today.

Amber Chisholm |

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