Wild clay & rust glaze
H. 10 x w. 13 x d. 7 cm
From the series 'Gyneka || Woman - Fertile Soil'
"The series explores the female body and the notion of fertility. You might notice that all the women presented in my work have twisted spines, as an homage and representation to my experience with scoliosis. Scoliosis is a degenerative condition. It involves the curvature of the spine, as well as the rotation of the spine in its axis."
"I wanted to create objects that bring subtle awareness to different bodies, whilst embracing the diversity of the fertile female corporality. I decided on the name to reflect my Greek roots. A piece of our home always lives in us, and I wanted my women to also have their own identity through the sand incorporated in the clay. The sand was collected from Evoia, which is a very special place for me in Greece."
About Eirini Ampatzi Ippikoglou
"My curiosity of the world, and the psyche of human beings, led me to my career as a psychotherapist. My writing, as well as the analysis of the unconscious elements surrounding me were always parallel, since they were both tools for me to explore the boundaries between the unconscious and the conscious as well as my experience of physical disability and a fragmented childhood. Seven years ago, I included creating sculptures in my artistic practice, as well as photography and screenprinting.
My aim was to create pieces that explored loss from many different dimensions and perspectives: somatic, emotional, visual and skin deep."
"My sculptural experience has been an attempt in following the loose threats of memories back to the beginning- and trying to untangle the effects of neglect and violence on the human psyche as well as on the body. "
"My works explore the "I" and the Other, both as opposing forces but also as parallel organisms. A lot of my work involves internal and external research in order to be completed, and my sculptures often represent different states of being."
When did you first work with your chosen medium?
E: I was always admiring ceramicists from afar. I remember once when I was 7, we had a school trip to a traditional terracotta ceramic studio and I was in awe of how the artists could create such beautiful objects out of mud!
Six years ago, I decided to explore clay, because of its therapeautic qualities. My profession in psychotherapy showed me how clay is used to help victims of trauma overcome experiences that they cannot articulate. Ever since I started working with clay, it just made sense, it felt very easy and enjoyable to be able to let my hands just do what they wanted to do and enter a zone of play and curiousity.
What are your biggest influences?
E: My biggest influence is the body; its capacities and limitations. My own body has created some challenges to my work over the years (being unable to be in the studio due to a spinal surgery for example a few years ago). I always wanted to be able to respect limitations and reflect them in my work, as well as the different forms a body can take.
The cyclical and transformative nature of womanhood means that there are times that creativity is beaming and others that sculptures must take their time to be created. They often reflect my state of mind, and it’s an interaction of my inner shadows and playfulness. My works explore the "I" and the Other, both as opposing forces but also as parallel organisms. A lot of my work involves internal and external research in order to be completed.
How important is tactility to your work?
E: Tactility is extremely important for me, since it invites the viewer to enter a more curious and playful state of mind. I want the viewer to explore the sculptures I create, because each person is then able to have an intimate personal relationship with them. By touching and feeling different textures and crevices of the objects, as well as their weight and solidity, a different story can unfold. Each little curve is a story for me, and the viewer can be connected to this story through touch.
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