FUNCTIONAL ART BY MY DEFINITION
I love this woman's work. Love it. Went over to the semi-annual Harvard Ceramics Studio Show and Sale this morning, specifically to see if I could find more pieces by Nancy Shotola. (Alas, no website that I can find) I have been collecting her work for years now, but she was apparently ill for a few years and had to stop potting. When I looked at the show website this year and saw her name was on the list, I could not get over there fast enough. I'll try to photograph all the pieces by her that I have and show them here.
I'm often aware how much I love functional art--art that can be utilized. Like hand-knitted socks, which are art to me. Or rugs--I have my own hooked rugs all over my house and love walking on them; they make my toes feel good. People often ask, "How can you bear to put that on a floor, after all the work you put into it?" But...that's why I made it. To walk on! I love making beautiful things and then using them. Handmade shawls. Greeting cards. A sweater.
Don't get me wrong; I also totally enjoy visual art that is made simply to look at. I think of that type of art also as "functional art," since the act of looking at a piece that is "visual" causes a reaction in the viewer: awe, or revulsion, or puzzlement, or a laugh, or some other emotion...or a memory...or the idea of a metaphor. So these things too--these emotions and reactions--are working on us, and if we become conscious of our reactions, we may be able to use them to deepen our relationship with ourselves.
Painting, drawing, drama, video, writing...we call these art, and we call some of them high art, but they are all functional art to me. Because we learn something about ourselves through interacting with them, and hopefully we apply what we learn. That's functional in my book.
More of her ceramics below. She has other patterns; I'm just obsessed with this one!
I see she has piece in the 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA, here. I'll be checking out that gallery as soon as I can.
Comments are closed.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society