IN THE GALLERY: Considerate Touch

Alexandra Standen

23 Jun - 18 Jul 2021

“Can I touch it?” is a question I hear a lot when people enter my studio. Sometimes they don’t even ask, it’s more of a magnetic pull from their hand to the curve of the form. I can see in their eyes that feeling the cold smooth clay is quite comforting and familiar and with big bellies and slender necks I guess these ceramic forms really do speak to a human form. I like how considered and gentle people are when they place their hand on the ceramic vessel almost like they expect to feel a heart beat or a vibration. There is a fragility of movement and ritual performance that seems to facilitate mindful awareness in that touch. While this body of work was not made for any specific ritual performance I like to think it has activated one.

Looking at ritual theory you begin to see ritual objects are not just symbols and interpretations. Objects that are employed in rituals are not passive carriers of attached cultural meanings, they become animated and give significant context to a ritual. While ‘Considerate Touch’ feels like an exhibition that began as an exploration of my own anxious mind and the ritual of making, it has morphed into a connection through touch and the relationship to the body.

Instal documentation: Janelle Low