Trompe l’Oeil Ceramics
April 14, 2022 – December 3, 2022
Nature has always been at the core of my heart and my art. When I am in nature – in solitude – feel grounded, focused, and inspired. The songs within each subject are what spark my creative tinder. My interpretations aim at capturing their spirits, their breaths, and their soul-singings. Living surrounded by such muses allows a connection and intimacy that lets me engage directly with the flow of their energies and vibrations.
To experience nature only in books or on screens is to experience its subjects as nouns – as mere “things.” To live amongst them is to know them as verbs – as dynamic actions. My sculptures translate such actions into subconscious stories that I then tell with my hands. I create each as a conduit to emotion through inquiry, recognition, and familiarity. They serve as focal points for connection and resonance, channeling and sharing nature’s private stories from the perspective allows otherwise hidden voices to be heard.
Mimicking the process of aging and decay, my sculpture reveal how nature maintains its splendors with tenacity despite human indifference and neglect. I love how ceramic and glass can represent the environment’s fragility as well as its durability – how it is easily damaged if disrespected and yet invincible in its inherent beauty and longevity. Under the right conditions, the two media I work with can last many thousands of years.
Each organic creation I make is filled with metaphors, both literal and implied. The anthropomorphic elements and naturalistic vessel forms are meant to remind us that we humans are inseparable from our natural surroundings. In this regard I am strongly guided by Asian tea culture. My works are influenced and informed by Japanese concepts of wabi sabi and the nature-inspired Chinese Yixing teapots of the 1600s. Both traditions foster an awareness of the environment while seeking to affect viewers’ behaviors toward it.
If my work helps those who encounter it awaken consciousness and acquire new ways of seeing that encourage better appreciations of nature, I will feel I have succeeded in doing what I set out to do: creating better ways of sharing space with the natural world and encouraging all to walk with softer steps.
– Eric Serritella
Eric Serritella began working as an artist in 2001 after a 16-year corporate career. Two dozen of his works are included in public collections including among others The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Mint Museum. His awards include 11 top prizes, most notably the James Renwick Alliance’s 2016 Distinguished Artist in Ceramics at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.