martina lantin

Photo by Christina Hills.

Artist Statement

My practice engages the archive of ceramic artifacts to reflect the mutation and adaptation of motifs and technologies. Throughout the post classical and early modern eras making methods and material knowledge were moved around the globe through migration, war and conquest. Alongside the expatriation of technical knowledge, patterns were consistently adopted, adapted and renewed. The dichotomy between porcelain and earthenware has carried particular social aspects of this history – including aspirations for status and demonstrations of wealth. I question the connotations of material through an analysis of early earthenware imitations of porcelain and the motifs found therein.

Pottery simultaneously serves as container and carrier of cultural information and manifests the dual roles of concrete utility and abstract symbolism. Drawing on these multiple functions, I seek objects of future nostalgia by making work that is a reverberation of the past. The repetition of form and reiteration of pattern is an effort to apprehend the dynamic between the surface and substrate. Shifts in scale and the incorporation of mixed media further complicate meaning and continue the development of a deepened understanding of the perceptions at play.

Through references to the ubiquitous coffee cup and bathroom tile, my work explores the role of ornament; it’s relationship to the vessel and the human impulse for continuous innovation. In an age of fast information and mobile workforce the recontextualization of ceramic technologies and tessellated patterns are an extension of the ceramic archive and reflect my own migratory record.