Ceramic Artist Explores Emotional Value of Everyday Objects at HCCC

Arts and Entertainment

November 20, 2014

From: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to host one day, late in the afternoon…, an installation by contemporary ceramic artist, Kelly O'Briant.  Reminiscent of the traditional still life from art history, the installation captures a moment of intimacy between utilitarian objects and their users. Things, such as a favorite mug, heirloom silverware, or a holiday tablecloth, are as integral to people's lives as the conversations that take place around them. O'Briant recreates these everyday objects in order to elevate them to a position of aesthetic and emotional value.
 
Using a minimal color palette to emphasize physical form, the artist also manipulates atmosphere, emotion and memory through her use of light and shadow. Her process of coiling and pinching the clay lends humanity to the surfaces of the objects, which, in ordinary life, would remain inert.
 
O'Briant arranges her porcelain objects in groupings that are intentionally ambiguous in their relationships to each other and their surroundings.  For instance, in one grouping, she arranges a bucket of eggshells, a spigot, and a garden hose on a wooden deck-like surface.  In another, she fills kitchen-like cabinets with various objects resembling bric-a-brac accumulated over time.  These objects are meant to stand in for the intangible relationships that transpire around things and the information transfer that occurs when people gather around the kitchen table for a cup of coffee or wash dishes at the sink after a communal dinner. O'Briant captures these shared moments through the creation of a still life composed of outwardly recognizable objects. However, upon closer inspection, one can see that the artist has altered the objects by removing some elements of the familiar leaving the viewer feeling somewhat perplexed and disconnected.
 
HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, comments, "This exhibition asks open-ended questions about what we share when we come together at the most intimate of meeting places. There is a combination of both positive and negative feelings that occurs when the viewer places herself in one of these scenarios, which are familiar and yet not at all what they seem. O'Briant brilliantly creates this ambivalent mood to reflect the ups and downs we experience throughout our lives."
 
one day, late in the afternoon. . . was originally exhibited in the spring of 2014 at Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University, for Kelly O'Briant's Masters of Fine Arts thesis.

Date: February 6 - May 10, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, February 6, 5:30 - 8:00 PM

The evening will also feature the opening of "Dining and Discourse:  A Discussion in Three Courses" and open studios by HCCC's current resident artists.

Location: Front Gallery - Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is located at 4848 Main Street, Houston, TX  77002

Hours & Admission: Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM, and Sunday, 12 - 5 PM. Closed Easter Sunday. Admission is free.

For more information, call 713.529.4848 or visit www.crafthouston.org.