Continuing through January 15, 2011
Alwyn O'Brien creates delicate porcelain sculptures inspired by natural materials cleared from waste sites on Canada's Salt Spring Island, where the recent University of Washington MFA grad lives. Both slip-cast and hand built, these white vessels seem to be constructed of hardened lace. Thin weavings of brittle porcelain create airy, vase-like forms.
"Story of Looking" is a pair of vessels leaning towards one another, each tangled with the unraveling tendrils of the other. "Bocage" is more solid, composed entirely of rounded forms that show the indent of a fat thumbprint. These sculptures are playful, spare, and charmingly loose. Their silhouettes recall classical urns, with an open irregularity that advertises the artist's hand. Weaving is asymmetrical, pedestals are lumpy, and the works feel defiantly organic. O'Brien conveys a studied sloppiness that is both sturdy and precarious, reflecting on the vitality of the natural world.
James Harris Gallery