Karen Wells’ “All and Nothing” series uses the Japanese monk Sengai Gibon’s (1750 – 1837) work, 'The Universe', a calligraphic work depicting a simple circle, triangle and square, as a starting point to explore these forms, their potential meanings, along with texture and transformative qualities of clay.
During the creative process Wells honed her focus to a single form, the square, and its three dimensional counterpart, the cube.
Transformation, an elongated cube, is a reflection of and meditation on the deconstruction and reconstruction of both Wells’ external life and inner world with its rich mixture of pain, loss, hope, and beauty.
Methodoligically the project also draws inspiration from the traditional Japanese practice of Enso, a meditative practice of painting circles with a single brush stroke. The aim with Enso is to unharness the mind and allow the physical body to control the creative process.
Karen Wells started her working life as an artist potter, training in traditional pottery methods in Mashiko, Japan and then with Janet Mansfield in Australia. After a three year foray into independent practice, she got diverted for a few decades by her career in the law and the usual chaos of life.
Wells has now come back to clay. In the past three years she has taken some time away from the law, set up a studio in Islington, as well as completing the Diploma of Ceramics course at Newcastle Art School. She has recommenced exhibiting and completed several commissions of tableware for local Newcastle establishments. She is remembering and reconnecting with that old love, maybe even her first love, and bringing that relationship out of the past and into the present. By returning to clay, it completes the circle.