Potlatch

I've been thinking back to a photography series I did a while ago. The work was about celebrating and reclaiming an urban environment by highlighting the everyday beauty in the very material of the walls that surround us.  I took the form me using screen printed frames to isolate sections of wall and somehow turn the wall itself into an artwork.  I then took photographs of the wall within the frame to display as abstract images.

The title, Potlatch, comes from the name of a publication from the Situationists (more detail here) who in turn took the term from native american indians where it refers to a gift-giving ceremony where the leader gives gifts as a form of wealth distribution (see more here).  As a concept I am interested in how it brings ideas of gifts given with no expectation of return or things outside commercial commodification.

I also took a quote from Baudelaire

The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.

I've come back to this because I've been thinking about the transformation of the ordinary, of the beauty that I find in the fabric of the city and because I keep finding myself taking pictures of walls! The trick will be to find a way of working this into ceramic and I'm starting to look at a series of vessels that somehow take the qualities of urban surfaces and translate those into something else.