Emerging Ceramic Artist to Watch: Merrie Wright, Tyler, Texas

Graffiti Bluebird, 8 in. (20 cm) in
height, earthenware; digital print, 34 in (86 cm) in width, 2007.

Construction Zone Coyote, 24 in. (61 cm) in height, earthenware; digital print, 34 in (86 cm) in width, 2007.



sculptures of the figure have historically been used to comment on culture, from Japanese Haniwa to Tang dynasty splash ware to Mochican portrait vessels, offering insight into the creator’s social, religious and environmental surroundings.

Pieces in the Urban Wildlife series are portraits of the animals’ struggle for survival and adaptation, and more acutely, portray the connection or disconnection between ourselves and our environment. The idea of camouflage, a means of concealment or disguise that creates the effect of being part of the natural surroundings, is the basis for color and surface texture selections of this work. Browns and gray-the familiar colors of wildlife camouflage found in North America-are replaced with “urban camouflage;” a myriad of manufactured colors and references to materials found in the urban landscape.

The new camouflages created for each animal are both visually beautiful and environmentally disturbing, creating animals that are eerily in sync with their surroundings. The photographs serve as a reminder of adaptability amidst an evolving artificial landscape.



This was excerpted from Ceramics Monthly magazine’s
“Emerging Artists 2009” feature, which appeared in the May 2009 issue.
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