Karen Bolton

Artist Statement

My wall sculptures echo the shapes and compositions of nature and the human world. Podsnurture. Seastarsareskeletons. Domes protect. These pods, domes, and creatures form matrices on the topic of motherhood.

The material of clay, at once malleable and solid, allows me to reflect on the skeleton as a counter-theme to motherhood. As bones grow, they form the structure of young life. Each little form in these compositions plays its part within the whole.

This work was created in a process that expresses maternity. I formed little parts through routinized actions, and with repetition, they slowly expand. This is much like the rhythm we choose to fill our days: filling bottles, changing diapers, cleaning up toys, and washing a loved stuffed animal. The smaller parts are components of something greater. In my work, each design is fabricated to change as needed or to be reorganized as the eye sees fit. Some elements in my work illuminate to invite a transformation from day to night – and to give viewers a glimpse of the temporal nature of what we see, think, and feel. Thus, my work opens up a comparison between what once was and what now has become.

Living with a child, one can only ever fully focus on the moment at hand. Only by looking back do we understand the whole that everyday has led up to: the human that the child has become and is still becoming. With each new day we gain new insight. The large mandalas shown here are made up of small moments. They might be reconsidered and re-arranged to new mandalas as our insight grows.

-- Karen Bolton