Pablo Picasso said:
"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up”.
When I was studying at the University of the West of England I think I realised I had lost the child in me. I wrote my ceramics dissertation entitled “The Perfect and The Free” I was intrigued how craftsmen through the ages had toiled with the dilemma of control versus freedom in their work. I was naturally a perfectionist, and hence found comfort in producing work that was precise and developed with control. Although this was held in high regard by my tutors I also knew they knew I wasn’t really letting go of my fear of failure. My drive for perfection was actually a screen. My child had run away to hide from the expectations and criticism of society.
I found ways of freeing my style with techniques, holding a pencil with my left hand instead of my right or drawing with a piece of charcoal attached the end of a long stick; throwing on the potters wheel with mixed clays which inevitably took on a life of their own as they distorted with the rhythm of the wheel…This helped, but only to a point.
Gosh how we tease the freedom and innocence out of children as they develop and grow….they have such a purity to their observation and interpretation of life! Unashamed and bold. But as adults we forget how to really see the world, instead seeing things through lenses tainted with pained experience.
So how then to free ourselves? I suppose it starts with trust, trust in ourselves to take a leap of faith, forget about the risk that people will not ‘get’ our work and just do it anyway. By holding a paint brush in our hand we hold a conduit for capturing the essence and beauty of life itself…by being present we can flow freely, caressing the page as if we are caressing the object in front of us. It’s more than seeing, it’s feeling, imagining YOU are the paint brush or pencil!
My most recent surprise is that while I was so fearful of anything spontaneous and ‘loose’ at University…I am now starting to have the most unexpected love affair with Watercolour. Many artists would say this is one of the most challenging mediums to work with as once you put a mark on the page it is almost impossible to cover it, as with Acrylics or Oils. You are committed to your first mark, your intuition and mistakes are left bare. This makes me feel alive, scared but alive.
At long last I think I may have started to find the child in me again…she flits between the adult world of expectation and that of fun & joy, but she is coming back…maybe in my next collection…
My working ethos is 'Play & Revelation' where I continually explore new ways of working, sometimes even destroying works to transform into new!
From February 2019 Sonya will be selling her collections at 'Leaf Creative' in Huntley, owned by Peter Dowle. This beautiful garden centre specialises in unusual shrubs, acer trees and hand selected plants. The perfect place to showcase her leaf inspired ceramics!
Sonya is pleased to announce that having been a provisional member with the Cotswold Craftsmen during 2018, she has now been accepted as a permanent member and invited to be publicity officer on the committee. Sonya will be exhibiting her work at a number of County Shows in 2019 - watch her events page for more upcoming details.
Sonya is now offering 1 day 'Pottery Workshops' with a national craft course provider. Start 2019 learning something new! In 1 day attentive tuition with Sonya you will learn throwing, coiling and hand-building techniques.
website by Viper Marketing : (c) Sonya 2016