Info + CV

Artist's statement

Edith Garcia

There are many forms in which an artist works; for me my work is a way to record my unique individual experiences throughout my lifetime, depicting everyday occurrences and past experiences, addressing contemporaneous issues specific to the human condition. As my life continues to change so will the content behind my artwork. Weaving between different forms of media or disciplines offers inspiration, I reflect in my own style, observations and experiences of my life. Dependent upon the concept behind each project the approach will alter, using my knowledge of artist materials and tools.

Previously I created the series of works entitled Peeling Off the Skin of Childhood which explored the awkward transition from childhood into adulthood, focusing on the phrases used by parents to discipline their children by implying a sense of fear: 'se te van a salier los ojos/your eyes are going to fall out' and 'te voy a lavar la boca con javon/wash your mouth out with soap.' Following this I created Milk-ed, a series of figurative heads attached to udders where the bodies should be, accompanied by the faint sounds of suckling portraying the sensation of constantly being milked and exploited.

During my artist residency at the Archie Bray Center for Ceramics Arts in Helena, Montana, I had the chance to reconsider my work in a fresh light and challenge myself by creating what I feel is some of my most intriguing and innovative work to date. In being able to move from the traditional notion of clay work to simply using the medium as a tool to express the concept, with the addition of digital mediums, opened a door to new and exhilarating projects and ideas.

At the Archie Bray Foundation I was able to create and set up Soy Yo, a permanent installation that consisted of 500 porcelain black and white doilies mounted on the ceiling of an outdoor structure. Soy Yo dealt with reminisces of home, the idea of an ideal domesticity and the memories of the home as a child.

Simultaneously completing the residency at the Archie Bray Foundation and receiving a fellowship to travel through Europe to explore contemporary ceramics, offered me an opportunity to further expand my knowledge of the medium and the concepts behind my own work. Visiting London in 2002, I was able to create a body of work that incorporated new mediums such as custom-made decals and apply my skills in digital arts. During that period, my work was featured at the St. Ives International Ceramica Festival, with a solo exhibition at the Burton Art Gallery that showcased numerous ceramics objects and a 40-foot ceramic installation with sound entitled Dicen que te quieren ('They say that they love you').

In 2005, I created the Otra Vez Series, works that dealt with the fusion between my sculptural production and my drawing and painting work I began to combine decals and draw and paint directly onto the works themselves. Being able to create a relationship between the object and the surface itself offered a greater depth to the work, presenting a secondary dimension in which to immerse the viewer, beyond the physical item, its linear trajectory interspersed with patterns and shapes on the surface.

In 2006, The Displaced Series was created during a three month McKnight Artist residency at the Northern Clay Center in 2006 and on returning to London I created Contemporary Monsters. Both series derive from what I refer to as our every day animals or our monstrous selves, the hidden inner beings that we repress in order to become part of civilized society, creatures that we encounter each and everyday in art, TV, literature, our memories, even as we walk through the streets or most disturbingly in the mirror. My work is influenced by everyday life as well as by growing up in a society that uses the hybridization of humans throughout its history.

 

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Throughout 2007, I focused on the development of the concept of Contemporary Monsters by creating and exhibiting a large scale installation piece at the Barbican Art Centre in London as well as creating a mini series of work to exhibit at Ceramic Art London and 'C - Change, Craft in Our Future' at Museum of Craft and Folk Art, USA. In late 2007, I began to focus on the complete absence of the representational image of human form in my sculptural work. In response to this Pause dealt with using the human form in a more conceptual level by breaking it down to its building blocks and using those as metaphors for the human element in the sculptural work. Pause was exhibited at Year07 Art Fair in association with Bucheon Gallery in London.

In 2008, as part of my continuing exploration of the human form, I began my research degree at the Royal College of Art in London, to investigate where the vanishing point of the human form lies within sculptural practice. In addition I was Invited Artist at Visual Arts Council in the Royal Scottish Academy, where I created Happy Ugly Scars. Happy Ugly Scars is an autobiographical installation composed of a new series of drawings and sculptures that translate certain personal childhood memories and aims to translate life struggles and experiences that leave us with metaphorical scars, be it happy, distressing or traumatized, all of which shape our development as humans.

In the same period Milk-ed was exhibited at The Grand Ceramics Theatre, MIAAO, International Museum of the Applied Arts, Italy along with the Displaced Series at Terra Incognita: The Unknown Earth, Baltimore Clayworks and Confrontational Ceramics, Westchester Arts Council, NY, USA. I was also Visiting Lecturer at the University of Ulster, Ireland; UWIC Cardiff School of Arts, Wales; Camberwell College of the Arts and University of Westminster, UK.

At the beginning of 2009, I was guest curator for the group show; Contemporary Monsters that Northern Clay Center, where I will be adapting and installing Happy Ugly Scars. Most recently I was an invited demonstrator at the International Ceramics Festival at Aberystwyth, Wales.

Since 2010 to the present, I have been strongly engaged in the critical research of figurative ceramics with curatorial projects, publishing and creating works that reflect this passion. I received my MPhil at the Royal College of Art in London working on research focusing around: The Absence and Presence of the Human Form in Ceramic Sculpture-Where is the Vanishing Point. And I have my first major publication Ceramics and the Human Figure that features the works of a range of international ceramic artists, all practicing within the fields of installation and sculpture released worldwide by A&C Black Visual Arts in 2012.