As part of her fast approaching graduation as a member of the inaugural cohort of Sierra Nevada College’s Low-Residency MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts program, Gray Space Gallery presented Susan’s MFA Thesis show, Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation. The show took place February 3 to March 19, 2017.
Digging into the mysterious and ambiguous form of porcelain, Susan draws out fragments, attempting to resurrect order and completeness from the duality of modern life that she sees in the in the shards and shapes of reworked ceramic. Her work draws out symbols, ideas of antiquity and modernity from the raw material of clay and seeks to assemble meaning from the disassembled pieces. Her flirtations with chemistry, alchemy and the transformations brought about by the application of fire result in structured forms reaching for new meaning.
Framing her forms are large-scale paintings that translate the whirling space of the ceramic process into color — an action specific to the medium of clay. The result is an exciting play of multiple mediums and materials in communication, contradiction, and support of each other.
Susan Bass is a ceramic sculptor and mixed-media artist who works with porcelain, metals, and fire. She is also the owner of Pottery Coast, a community-based ceramics studio with a mission to cultivate a space for those who make. She lives and works on the Central Coast of California.