Terra Firma: Foreign Lands
Terra Firma: Foreign Lands features ceramic works by artists of color, curated in collaboration by Hooz (Haley Williams) and Murmurs. More than 50% of sales proceeds from this collection will benefit Beauty 2 the Streetz, a grassroots organization headed by Shirley Raines that aims to serve unhoused womxn by providing necessities alongside the things that make us feel inherently human: a hot shower, a hearty meal, and beauty services. The works in this show push the boundaries of medium expectation through a singular language that infuses innovation into an ancient practice. Ceramics have historically been relegated to the realm of craft rather than fine art. Even in the high art spaces where we may see ceramics, the works still tend to fit the mold of a conventional, even outdated lexicon––simple vessels, prioritization of wheel-thrown pieces, an emphasis on craft and functionality over expression. Works such as these can sit complacently in assumptions of the past, reaffirming the limitations of what ceramic work can be and how much space it can occupy in the fine art environment.
This moment is a critical one for ceramic art. In the fall of 2020, especially in Los Angeles, a clay renaissance is underway. The term “renaissance”, although it conjures thoughts of the Western canon, in this case applies to a more inclusive, diverse, and liberated cultural shift. The artists we’ve chosen to feature in this capsule show and fundraiser are rewriting the rules, pushing the possibilities of ceramic art practice in an unprecedented direction. All artists of color, we see culture, identity, and childlike curiosity come to the forefront in the work. Navigating the discourse of modernity, whispers of past ancestry, and the unrestricted, decolonized mind, these artists have contributed a remarkable spread of work ranging from utilitarian to decorative to figurative sculpture––keeping one foot grounded in the familiar while the other ventures into the expansiveness of the unexplored.