The driving force behind my sculpture is the relationship of science and art. Collections, categories, labels, frames, and display cases are all devices used by science and art to encourage the viewer to carefully examine precious objects and artifacts. My intention as an artist is to create a playful shifting back and forth between our traditional ideas of a scientific specimen and art object. My work is constructed from a combination of various interests, experiences, and memories, which generate exponential possibilities for continuing my drive as an artist. I am continually inspired and amazed by the germination of a seed, the birth of a baby, and the intricate web of relationships among humans, plants, and animals. Although my work is laden with personal lived experience, it is my hope that all viewers relate to my work in a way that evokes memory, wonder, and curiosity.
I utilize the malleable characteristics of clay to create small-scale sculptures, which resemble preserved scientific specimens. The forms display warty surfaces, soft, fleshy folds, and puckered openings, suggestive of organic growth. I use clay primarily for its material and technical possibilities and its chameleon-like ability to mimic organic form and surfaces. The aesthetic characteristics of glaze allow me to achieve a surface depth similar to a membrane or skin of an organism.
Although our way of seeing the natural world has dramatically advanced, the mysteries surrounding this world are ever present. My work celebrates this sense of mystery, existing somewhere within the border of illusion and reality. I intend for my work to create a visual dichotomy as a seemingly authentic scientific collection is displayed in a contemporary art setting.
Carrie Longley is a studio artist and educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Indiana University East. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Wittenberg University and a MFA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She exhibits her work extensively throughout the United States and has received numerous awards including “Emerging Craftsman” from Ohio Designer Craftsman, “The Bobby Kadis Award” at the Penland School of Crafts, MCACD Individual Artist Fellowship, and the $10,000 William and Dorothy Yeck “Young Sculptor’s Award.”