Natalie Shelly

Artist Statement

Materials and objects have a history that affects us on a universal and individual level. Helping us orient ourselves and understand that which we encounter, they evoke memories of where we have been and what we have once touched or known. The quiet activity of contemplating the arrangement of stones on a path or line drawn on a page can give us the opportunity to build bonds between elements. Experiencing these moments of aesthetic participation, both in nature, life, and in the studio, has fostered an affinity towards a language built upon the reciprocal and communicative nature of seemingly mundane materials and elements.

I seek to establish responsive relationships through mapping, drawing, and nurturing intimate interactions between line, shape, and object in my ceramic sculpture and drawings. These relationships open and affirm the connections between viewers and their surroundings by emphasizing careful and meditative interaction. Through my use chosen materials, I present a temporal experience rooted in this sensitive interdependence while also commenting on the potential for objects and materials to express relationships of beauty and fragility. Through arrangements within composed and self-contained environments, I seek to craft delicate forms, lines, and shapes of intimate scale and minimal palette. It is through these interactions that I strive to elicit a state of stillness and repose.

-- Natalie Shelly


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