Thursday, October 15, 2009

Plate Tectonics: The Art of Karen Ryan

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

KAREN RYAN LIVES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND MAKES A VARIETY OF ART, from furniture installations made of chairs to rethinking design and its impact on society. I think she is doing some important work. When I caught a glimpse of these plates I went sort of kooky over them. So of course, here they are for you, dear readers.

First of all, let’s look at “the dinner plate.” Ever since man quit eating off of the cave floor, he devised a platform on which to put his food. This became the “plate,” as we know it. There are full plates which represent one thing (wealth, for example)—and empty plates, which can represent another (poverty). Pattern and decoration have adorned plates for centuries, so what Karen Ryan does in removing the existing meaningless glazed surface decoration is a process that renders this adornment in a new context. For the first time since these plates were made, they actually speak with a new voice. How she makes her art is the part that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she has transformed these plates into something different— powerful, word-driven objects that recontextualize the humble (and even not so humble) dinner plate into a new vehicle for art.

Learn more about this artist here.


Maureen said...

I especially like that Guilt was done on a gilded plate, very nice.

Lynn Lunger said...

Ahhh! These are wonderful! I especially like Loss. Very powerful.

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