As a storyteller I communicate with my hands translating stories into clay. My sculptures are autobiographical narratives with animal imagery, such as Java Sparrow Finch birds as symbols of humanity, facets of myself or of others. Birds are both cheerleaders and naysayers to me. My sculptures serve as spirit guides that manifest intentions, relieve anxieties, and whisper secrets. As a daughter of a florist, flowers are intrinsic to my sculptures they create a dialogue internal to my work. Flowers are always present and dying at monumental life changing ceremonies. Currently I am working on a series of conjoined female figures entitled “Entropic” and another series called “Dreams and Memories”. Each mound is a dream that multiplies to create a dream cluster. The gold luster flowers represent the disorder in the dream cluster. My technique of throwing on the wheel and hand building allows a personal connection with my clay and forms. This intimacy is imperative for me to process my emotions and stories into clay and create meaning with images, which empowers me in all aspects of my life. The manipulating of my clay not only creates sculptures, but also “builds” me as an artist, an educator, and a woman.
Bernadette is an Art Professor and The Carter Art Center Gallery Director at MCC- Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City.
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