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Michelle Erickson

Artist Statement Submitted 2016

My career-long fascination with ceramic history during the period of Western exploration, expansion, and dominion began with exposure to archeological ceramics in the “colonial triangle” of Virginia. Fragments of British, European, Asian, and Native American pottery unearthed in early colonial excavations embody a remarkable global convergence of cultures in clay. My practice in the rediscovery of lost ceramic techniques and the context of this history define my approach as a contemporary artist. I use the depth of history through the art of making to draw parallels through time such as the 18th century Staffordshire pottery industry and global design giant Nike, Wedgwood’s abolitionist ceramics and 21st child slavery, the colonial discovery and obsession with fossils as prescient to our perilous addiction to fossil fuels. I make objects of the past from an imagined future in the present.

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