Frozen in a moment between thought and action, Claire Curneen’s figures entice us to discover a world of feelings that reflect our own human fallibility. Their gently distorted bodies, ambivalent expressions and large, care worn hands evoke a complexity of emotional response. The intensity of their presence draws us to touch the soft, worn surfaces, impressed with the residue of hand prints in the porcelain and terracotta that they are built with. The verticality of the figures echoes the vertical axis of pottery forms. Pierced openings enable us to see through the surface, to the hollow interiors, alluding to the body as vessel, a metaphor for the human spirit. Clay with its symbolic language and rich tactile qualities transcends its mere pragmatic advantages. As Philip Rawson writes ‘clay art sets out to give virtual life to its objects.’ Breathing life into her inanimate figures, Claire Curneen seeks to portray the human condition.
- CAA Exhibitions