My work is figurative in nature, but not in the traditional sense of the word. I am more interested in the interior of human anatomy. Things, feelings, and relationships come and go. The one thing we carry with us from birth to death is our physical existence, our most prized possession.
Perhaps it is the result of my own medical experiences, where I found myself simultaneously fascinated by and fearful of the body s complexity. Perhaps it was growing up in the south, where the façade of religion can be as thick as the accent. Regardless, I am both intrigued and relieved to know the world, the people, and the relationships within it are not simply black and white.
My work is autobiographical, exposing aspects of personal relationships that are not readily apparent. Each piece is a visual depiction of an internalized relationship that I have with myself, or that I share with those individuals closest to me. With each piece, I use emotional associations linked to various anatomies of the human body the gut as a metaphor for raw instinctual emotion, a lung to express the need for air. I then manipulate these cellular tissues, organs, and overall system structures in order to explore specific and personal relationships. The finished work is graphic in nature, a combination of sculpted porcelain and detailed underglaze renderings, referencing 18th century medical illustrations and traditional commemorative blue and white ware.
— Mallory Wetherell