mercè cañadell

ARCTIC FOXES – Work in Progress


I'm currently working on a series of ceramic sculptures that takes its inspiration from the changes and effects of Global Warming in the fringe lands of Earth's Polar Regions. My interest in this theme is related to the effects and the deterioration of the environment which causes negative impact to the surroundings and living beings that inhabit this harsh land.

The charismatic Arctic Fox has offered me a subject matter and motivation to develop a group of pieces that are interconnected. However, each of pieces can be displayed as unique work. Each Fox shares the same aesthetics elements. Each is a unique piece that has dialog between the others about themselves, their surroundings and the changes that are already depicted in their bodies. I’m using the shape and the movement of this creature as a blank canvas which allows me to reflect and elaborate the narrative of the changes that threaten their lives and surroundings. The new series of Arctic Foxes are figurative and built to life size dimensions. Deliberately I've manipulated and altered the shape to get more abstract features to reflect the connection between the beauty of the animal lines with the majestic glaziers and icebergs that are part of their landscape and habitat. It seems that each fox embraces similar components in the architectural construction within its body. In fact I played with the idea of these individual pieces that are engaging by their selves just to highlight their condition.

Each piece is made of white stone clay using hand building technique. They are bisque fired and later glazing fired at 1060c. twice or 3 times to achieve the glaze surface required. The next stage to finish the presentation of the work involves experimenting with casting coloured glass to create a thin glass surface that is attached to a ceramic white plinth a pair of inches high and follows the shape of the bottom of the piece. The kiln formed glass bases fixed on the ceramic plinth brings strength and contrasting qualities to the overall form facilitating the installation of the Foxes on it. At the same time producing a deep sense of isolation. The coloured melting surface will create contrast with the white surfaces of the overall composition. The soft rounded lines of the body will contrast with the hard clear thin ground base. I'm at the moment experimenting with this aspect of my work and testing options that can enhance the idea of the fragile status of the ecosystem. The image of my ceramic sculpture “Unfolding Form” that can be seen in the CONVERSATION Folder gives some idea of the white surface glaze which I would like to use on the exterior of the Foxes. The image doesn’t provide exactly the effect that I’m working on for the bases of the Foxes but it gives an idea of how a base can enhanced and provide an extension of the piece.