Caterina Silenzi creates her work by combining animal remains with ceramics. She uses the ancient Japanese technique of Raku, a long and complex procedure whose main elements are fire, air, water and earth. Combined with extreme temperatures the firing is akin to a crematorium, turning the craft into a sort of shamanistic ritual and creating a new life.
I love the understated narrative of Caterina's work. Her work adeptly evokes emotion from the viewer through the tragic and beautiful juxtaposition of the animal remains and the new creation. This paradoxical presentation is the embodiment of beauty and sadness, life and death and traps the viewer in a space somewhere between the two. There is no definitive beginning or end in her portrayal of the "circle of life" and the point where the two become one is a place we aren't often forced to examine.
Although she hasn't posted anything new in quite some time, I really hope to see more of her work. Maybe her absence is because she is busy crafting a new story and delivering us the magic of another life reborn.
You can see more of Caterina's work on her website.
I found artist Lyndie Douthe on Pinterest. I know I know you're starting to think I have an addiction or something. I was struck by the delicacy and subject matter. Severed fingers, tiny love letters, anatomical bits, illness, rotting fruit complete with flies, and skeletons don't seem to be common subjects for fibre artists.
I absolutely love being surprised by work that doesn't fit a mold or into one of my preconceived notions of what it is. By now you all know I love the dead things, anatomy, and boxes of bones but these objects were just so delightfully unusual that I had to share them.
Lyndie Douthe's website showcases her work and I love being able to get a look at another artists' process. I also love being able to see the evolution of her work over the course of a few years. It is a different take on the memento mori theme both in subject matter and from a craft that is historically and canonically dominated by women. Her website contains her blog, written in French where she talks about her work and travels and documents the process behind her creations as well as a store where you can purchase something that tickles your fancy or request a custom piece. I have my eye on the "broken" hearts and just might have to order me one!
You can read more about her (in English) here.
What are your thoughts?