Meet the artist and share her vision
At a recent guild-sponsored lecture at Contemporary Craft, featured Bridge 13 artist Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor talked about the evolution of her style and body of work. Guild secretary Wanda Spangler-Warren took her usual meticulous notes and lent them to us for this post. Thanks, Wanda!
The huge, grotesquely charming, animal-ish forms lumbering around SCC’s gallery owe their existence to a series of happy accidents involving drywall screws, the Iraq war, and a truckload of discarded cushions. Which is just another way of saying O’Connor never met a random input she couldn’t use.
As a resident artist in Kohler’s Arts/industry Program, O’Connor learned the slip casting method of making vitreous china, a technique she would later intentionally corrupt by using found objects, creating animal hybrids with ceramic heads and fabric bodies. Perhaps more importantly, Kohler made available to her a huge inventory of hardware – screws, wires, and grommets – which she used to assemble her figures in obvious and deliberate ways.