Meredith Brickell received her MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005. Known for her hand built earthenware vessel forms, Brickell has achieved a fair amount of attention since that time. Brickell’s attenuated vessels are quiet wonders. Simply shaped forms, many of which seem to hover over the surface upon which they rest, become the repository for her vocabulary of visual markings. Small geometric shapes and fluid thin straight and curvilinear lines are drawn on soft flesh, yellow, white, off-white, blue and orange toned surfaces, both shiny and matte. The markings take one on a journey around and sometimes through her vessels. They provide for thoughtful viewing. Brickell compares this experience to that of experiencing a large landscape vista. She states, “Although the pots I create are intimate in scale, they borrow form the vastness of the landscape – the long stretch of horizon across a field – as well as the particulars of small objects. One can view this work from a distance or approach and handle it, revealing details such as a tiny set of leaves drawn on the underside of a plate. This interaction parallels the way we experience large spaces. One can view the landscape as a painting, or enter into it and examine the numerous small elements that compose the whole.”
"The rural environments that have framed my life have also fueled this series of ceramic vessels. The work references not only the physical characteristics of these environments, but also the emotional connection I have to them. Because the bucolic landscape has continuously offered me solitude and equanimity, such a landscape becomes a metaphor for a contented state of mind. This personal sense of balance embraces a range of emotions—fulfillment, unease, elation and melancholy.
The work describes the complexity of place by borrowing from the physical realm and my intangible impressions of it. I build interior and exterior spaces, combine utility and decoration, allow for perfection and imperfection. Contrary elements are joined within a single piece to focus on the tension between them—a large form hovers on a narrow base, a lissome line travels lightly along an uneven surface.
Although the pieces are intimate in scale, they borrow from the vastness of the landscape—the long stretch of horizon across a field—as well as the particulars of small objects. One can view this work from a distance or approach and handle it, revealing details such as a tiny set of leaves drawn on the underside of a plate. "
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