Mermaid Musings by Tessa Wallis
While coping with the pandemic and its lock downs, Mermaid Musings provided me an escape into fantasy, but more importantly it enabled me to indulge my passion of manipulating clay. I enjoy tackling meticulous work as it contrasts the obscure abstraction which has dominated the art world for the past hundred years.
Mermaid “figureheads” adorn both ends, expressive of the current confusion about how best to go forward. The wave designs in relief on its sides are inspired by carvings I saw on ancient vessels in Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Not only did Mermaid Musings provide an opportunity for me to express my enjoyment of detailed allegorical work, but it also reminded me of happy times spent reading fairy tales as a child. All the wonder of the past now seems like a dream — thanks to Covid 19!
I am stimulated by challenge, so I chose to use Southern Ice porcelain from scratch — without the use of moulds. Although porcelain has a reputation for being fraught with difficulty for sculptural forms, I was seduced by its fine grain and pure whiteness. Ceramics suit my work ethic as sculpting clay enables me to create a piece from concept to completion – single-handedly. The greenish glaze is my version of celadon, a glaze made famous by the revered ceramic artists of South Korea.
I hope Mermaid Musings will provide a moment of escapism and happiness for those who view the MSWPS exhibition of 2021.