Christie Brown ‘Icons of Uncertainty’

“My new body of work deals with ideas around protection, vulnerability and potential loss. Drawing upon historic religious references in a secular age I am referencing grave goods, especially those made from clay, as a source of style and expression. Grave goods come in many shapes and sizes and performed many functions but ultimately, they existed to help with the transitions from life to death and in many cultures, the transition to the afterlife.

Death is something we all have in common. Despite the original functions intended for these objects, involving the rituals of the relevant religions or faiths, I sense the key purpose of them for those left behind is to help them come to terms with loss. The connection between figurative grave goods and my own characters is one where the continuity of history feels key. My new characters group together to talk about these issues, their role often one of messengers waiting or performing a vigil, existing on the threshold, the portal, in the liminal space where changes occur, offering protection and consolation. An interest in mythology, archaeology, the continuity of history, the narratives within cultures, has long informed my practice. And the use of moulded clay as my main process and material offers a number of metaphorical readings concerning human lives. Their hollowness, necessary in most kiln fired clay sculpture is enclosed by their clay shell, the kabuk, which protects the inner self, the wound, the growing tree, the soft creature, allowing healing. I am creating deities in a secular age.”

Christie Brown


Christie Brown

[ 1946
- Present ]
Christie Brown is an artist and Emerita Professor of Ceramics at the University of Westminster in London. She graduated from Harrow School of Art in 1982 and set up her north London studio that year. At Westminster she taught on the BA, MA and PhD programmes while maintaining and developing her sculptural practice. She was Principal Investigator on the AHRC project Ceramics in the Expanded Field.

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