MediaCeramics / Pottery
Artist Profile PicturePaula-profile.JPG
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Artist's StatementMy work touches upon the power and potential within seed pods as well as birthing new life. It is fundamentally inspired by my experience as a woman and a mother.
The exterior finishes are earthy and imperfect with marks of the maker‚ process as evidence of origin and inside is intricate and colourful decoration. It has curvaceous and flowing forms are hand built in stoneware clay, a medium with an inner strength, known for its practicality but also encompassing a fragility that requires respect.
I have been creating contemporary ceramic sculpture for over 20-years calling on inspiration from a wide variety of sources but my professional background has combined working as a professional artist, exhibiting, curating, working to commission and teaching across the UK, with working in local authority, voluntary and community sectors.
I have taught regular classes in ceramic art and painting and drawing, as well as drop-in craft workshops, lantern-making, and community art workshops.
Other key skills include strategy development, project management, community arts development, and fundraising.
Paula Armstrong's Portfolios
Potential Inside collection
My potential inside work celebrates creation and the potential inside all living creatures. Initially inspired by the spiritual art of Enso with an apparently simple circle representing the universe, everything that’s in it and the void from which everything came.
I liked the idea of the void inside having the potential to create everything and so my work concentrates on the potential inside to birth and grow and the idea that everything grows and flows from the inside out. Images of seed pods, pollen and fertility inspire the spherical forms with the decoration on the inside representing the potential within just beginning to show itself and burst or break outward.
My work touches upon the power and potential within seed pods as well as birthing a new life. It is fundamentally inspired by my experience as a woman and a mother. The exterior finishes are earthy and imperfect with marks of the maker’s process as evidence of origin and building character. In contrast, the interiors are adorned with intricate and often colourful decoration just visible as the inside potential is blooming.
The curvaceous forms are built in ceramic, a medium with an inner strength that is known for its functionality but also encompassing a sense of fragility inside that requires respect. Each piece contains a subtle tension between strength and fragility.
The studio and teaching
I passionately believe that everyone has the ability to be creative and love teaching because of this. I get a kick out of seeing students’ faces light up when they see a piece they made fresh from the kiln that they love, especially when they weren’t expecting it to work. I have heard too many people say, “I envy you. I’m just not creative.” including some students when they first arrive. Being creative doesn’t mean being good at art and craft. It’s soooo much broader than that (but I won’t go into that here!).
For myself I love trying new techniques and pushing clay to its limits. I often get asked, “how did you make that?” even by fellow ceramicists. The infinite possibilities of clay as a medium appeals to my need to constantly evolve my work and my love of learning and challenging myself . Teaching adds another layer to that.