Food is one of the most basic human needs. What we choose to eat defines who we are. Yet, in this modern climate of convenience, we are playing an ever-decreasing role in the creation of the vital resources that that nourish us. Whether deciding between boxes of cereal, cuts of meat or kinds of apples, it seems we are engaging ourselves in the same way and I wonder if life would be more fulfilling were these experiences more diverse and our participation in them more tangible.
In my work with food imagery, I portray food and food products, which reflect my own experience as a consumer and which I feel also represent current trends of industrial production and consumption as a whole. Through casting these foods and creating replicas of them, I am recalling the monotonous processes that are responsible for their existence in the first place. Through then manipulating these generic forms, composing, recombining and misrepresenting them, I am playing with perceptions of what is familiar to portray something that is not. A pile of groceries floats in mid air without the table to support it, a plate of bread succumbs to the weight of the loaves held aloft by only a ribbon and a bow. Through these misconstrued relationships and precarious presentations, I aim to elicit recognition of shared experience while also casting a shadow of doubt. Walking a line between sentiment and uncertainty, I hope that as I reflect on the significance that these products of modern society have in my own sense of identity, the viewer might be called to do the same.
-- Emily Loehle
Emily Loehle is a ceramic artist and art educator originally from Louisville, Kentucky. She received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Ceramics from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s of Fine Art in Ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington. Through solo, group and juried exhibitions, her work has been shown on both national and international levels in cities from Philadelphia, Seattle and Houston to Jingdezhen, China. She also enriches her work through participation in workshops and residencies at art centers across the country, such as Watershed Center for Ceramic Art and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She currently lives and works in Gunnison, Colorado where she teaches for the Art Department at Western Colorado University. When not in the studio or classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.