Kristy Hussey

Flamenco I, 2021

22 cm
For this body of work I wanted to introduce movement and texture. "Flamenco I" is a hand-built, sculptural, vase with handles twisting around a funnel neck like a flamenco dancer’s arms holding her skirt – one bent arm to the front, the other to the back. Like flamenco, it reflects both tradition and expression. It has a rough texture of irregular spikes and bumps and is finished with a white gloss glaze.

The handles and the texture invite the audience to touch, and in doing so, create an intimate tension between the viewer’s desire and conditioning. How many times as a child did you hear “don’t touch”, “that’s fragile” or “careful, it will break”? These handles are impractical and precarious. You know from experience not to trust them.

But they are functional, and I am a rule breaker, and by enticing you to touch and hold the piece, I encourage you to question all the rules, all of your training and all of your preconceived ideas.

There is no better time for questioning. Born from pandemic lockdowns, the handles and texture also signify my need for connection in a world of separation and anxiety. The handles are comforting. They are tangible, something to hold on to. They offer a sense of sturdiness while maintaining their fragility and sense of movement.
My practice centres on the seemingly opposing themes of fragility, resilience and rebelliousness. I aim for uniqueness, the tension inherent in the dichotomous nature of ceramics – at once fragile and strong. A bit like me. I like to push the clay to its limits to test fragility and break the traditional rules of pottery. With a background in science, and a life-long passion for learning, I am drawn to both the scientific nature of ceramics and the possibilities to extend what can be achieved with the medium. Both art and science are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us. As both a scientist and an artist I strive to understand the world and to communicate my vision. My love of experimentation, combined with my innate desire to explore, break rules, and push boundaries is ever present in my practice. Each piece that survives its trials is vitrified yet precarious, beautiful and unique.
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