chris hagtorn



gallery biography statement contact & links

What interests me is the presence of the object and how abstraction evokes and eludes description from the viewer simultaneously. How the codes and conventions of society drive us to try and label what something is rather than accepting it as just is.

The process of making is an important part in my work. I am searching for the boundaries of what clay can achieve as a material, exploring its strengths and weaknesses. I “flog” thin clay slabs with a stick creating marks that compresses the clay molecules, strengthening the material in the groove left behind. As the clay then is stretched or folded that same strength causes it to break and reveal tiny cracks.

The “flogging” of the clay is based on the traditional technique of using a paddle and anvil to make pots, but in itself, freed from the tradition, it can evoke other interpretations. For my work I use it as a method of creating a pattern of repetition, a metaphor for the repetitive motions of daily life, each blow a representation of an event, thus shaping a form with an individual history.

This is a search to create work that reaches permanence by its ineffability.