Rodents, mice and rats aresymbols of the underworld, of destruction, of evil, rarely seen in Renaissance Art. It is a plague animal, a symbol of death, decay, and the powers of darkness. These creatures often invade the home and are spotted in amongst the pots, pans crockery and pottery.They were the major vehicle for spreading the disease during the black plaque; however their moment of glory came when they featured prominently on the famous wooden furniture of the 1920′ carpenter, Robert Thompson.
This ceramic statement depicts rats in variety of animated confrontational configurations. We live in a world plagued by hot wars with no front (Umberto Eco; Turning back the clock 2008) – the enemy lurking within (the enemy is amongst us) and around us.Clothed in their respective symbolic floral outfits (ceramic transfers) and or branding their tattooed insignia (sgraffito); they will embody the conflicting views of respective groupings in the plaque of intolerance prevalent in our society today. Their tails are shaped as weapons and when coated with gold and platinum are reminiscent ofthreatening stilettos. All these symbolic gestures turn them, on close observation, into fundamentalist and extremist brats (bullies); ready to spread their anger and frustration, reminiscent of the black plague.
Tattoos are playing an increasingly significant role in the development of the concepts of my ceramic statements, especially with regard to surface development, complimenting the forms and shapes; becoming the defining factor in determining the inherent meaning of the ceramic piece.
Like tattoos, with reference to Thimotheos Roussos’ interpretation (in his essay A man’s “true face”, concealing / revealingmasculinity’s in novels by Alan Duff and Witi Ihimaera) , the insignia (decoration) on the ceramic sculptures draws the gaze of the viewer, exercises the power of fascination and lowers certain defences. The eye isolates and follows the decorative patterns of the design before seduction subsides and the symbolism provokes the viewer to respond and engage the underlining meaning.