Fragments is an exploration of grief and loss rendered in black porcelain slip. Reflecting on the physiological experience of grief and the cultural practices of mourning in contemporary Australian society, the series draws on my experiences following the death of my mother in 2011. Each work is created by dipping items of my mother's clothing into black porcelain slip, arranging them, and firing the result so that only the clay remains. Hung and laid flat, her clothing represents a paradox of simultaneous presence and absence. The destruction inherent to each work highlights the physicality of my loss. The process of creation, too, mirrors the experience of death and grief. The burn-out technique parallels the process of cremation and my own experience of catharsis: in order to create the work, I must allow the clothes to burn away.
Recent media coverage: Interview with Ellie Parnell.