I am interested in the use of narrative as a way of understanding the human condition and those experiences that define our personal identities. The stories we tell help to reveal those personal archetypes, experiences, and myths that we as humans are capable of sharing through our unique sense of imagination. Simply put, narratives have the ability to inform and amuse. My work uses narrative as a device to engage the viewer while trying to understand some truth about human nature and the world around us.
The content of my work is initially derived from personal experiences that are then fictionalized into sculptural narratives. Because they are my experiences and mine alone, I make no attempt to be a political guide on the subject matter pursued within each sculpture. Instead, the narratives I create in my work are intended to provoke the viewer’s imagination into reflecting on their own personal experiences and consequently their own identity in relation to the work. Often times the resulting narrative is satirical and humorous. Through humor I hope to encourage a way of experiencing the world that will open us to the transcendent that informs it, and at the same time forms ourselves within it.
As for the aesthetic of the work, I employ the seduction associated with fine craft in order to further engage and sustain the viewer’s interaction with the narrative. The versatility and archival nature of ceramic sculpture provides me with an endless as well as timeless medium for documenting my narratives.
— Sean Erwin
Sean Erwin received an MFA from the University of South Florida in 2008 and BA in studio art from Stetson University in 2004. He currently resides in Deland, Florida working as a studio artist and adjunct professor for the visual arts department at Stetson University. Prior to his appointment at Stetson University, Sean was a long term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation as a recipient of the Lilian Fellowship for ceramic arts. He has held numerous exhibitions both locally and nationally and in 2014 was selected to represent the Ceramic Top 40 with a solo exhibition at Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to his active exhibition record, Sean has also been involved in several artist lectures, workshops, conferences and symposiums. His work questions the validity of behavioral expectations prescribed by social normatives and employs humor in an attempt to reinvent these expectations within the timeless medium of ceramic sculpture.