CAROL A. FLEMING
Studio Terra Nova since 1998
24th Artist Statement
(Why am I an artist?)
I am a deaf artist, born into a life with few meaningful sounds.? Yet my mother and my father, a fine architect, filled my days with visionary energy. From an early age, art?creating from clay?has been my fundamental mode of expression.? It is a natural specialty.? It is the way I transform my own vision into a concrete statement.? Creating is the best and deepest part of me, the true voice of my inner, God-given, personality.
I opened my studio after completing graduate school at Ohio University.? For a quarter of a century, I have fashioned columns with pliable clay, upwards of 250 pounds per column.? The stoneware body is formulated for me according to my own recipe.? I also mix all my own glazes.? To date, I have done 335 firings in my gas kiln, a New York-made Bailey.
I gain great delight in shouldering my way through the clay with a heavy wood roller.? The blank ?canvas? will begin to speak for me as I muscle the primary slab forms, building and coiling the clay by hand.? For final shaping, I pound the clay with a simple paddle; each column hums its own songs.
(What is my philosophy of art?)
The columns rise from my own story. Losing my father while I was in high school made me comprehend how truly precious life is. I realized it was important to make each day count.? To that end, I aim to live fully, savoring individual moments, to trust in God, and to forgive completely. Living this way yields positive images and uplifting messages of beauty, which I aim by my art to create and share. When all is said and done, at the end of my days, I want the clay work to point to our Maker, the original Artist.
(What am I trying to convey?)
I am grateful to exhibit in Longview, Texas, this year.? I have chosen six sparkling columns rising organically, with the thrilling grace and grandeur of horses, heads uplifted. The columns stand tall, solid, like sentinels, irregularly shaped to possess a bit of swagger.? The firm, full lower section of each supports the expressive upper sections, making a common whole. Together, they are like strong horses, herd animals, banding into a circular line of fellowship and defense.? One column alone cannot communicate such a powerful message.
It takes years of handling clay to master it.? Building sections up from the base, I am piercing wide open space.? I love the vertical bridging of earth to the glory above and beyond us.? Let your eyes follow the columns as they stretch safely skyward.? In their communal vigor, they speak as I live, confident of overcoming troubles and obstacles.?
September 16, 2009