If you have been to our gallery in the past month, you will have noticed the characterful porcelain creatures that are currently populating our front cabinet. These 'Kami', as they are called, are designed to evoke 'the sacred element or spirit which can be contained in everything, expressed in an awe inspiring way.' They are lovingly and delicately created by Marina Bauguil. Marina has answered some questions for us so we can learn more about her wonderful work.
How do you go about making a new piece?
I usually go back to my sketchbook to pick up on my last train of thought. Next, I sit in my work space for a while and become present using a meditative approach, then setting an intention for that working day - this can be as simple as "have fun today" - all the while letting my ideas simmer. After that I get the clay out, put music on and start rolling out small coils, which I hollow out and model. Each piece then appears intuitively, a bit like an information download: I let myself be guided by what the piece is telling me.
How did you get started with your art career?
I studied sculpture at Falmouth School of Art and Design for three years and spent a further two studying ceramics in Nottingham. I then worked with a sculptor friend of mine firstly on a community project, then making large sculptures for the artist David Mack. I also worked with a landscape architect making large pieces for gardens and went on to do private commissions for a while, whilst working on my own ceramic pieces in my parents' cellar.
What is your preferred medium/colour pallet to use?
Clay is undeniably my preferred medium and over the last two years more specifically paper porcelain. My colour palette changes but I have noticed over the years that I like using turquoise, teal blues and greens.
What inspired the range of work that we have in the gallery?
A long fascination with tribal/ethnographical figurative art traditions such as the Dogū figures of ancient Japan or the Divination figures of Angola. I love the idea that clay holds power, for example, it can be used as a building material for construction or become a recipient for food and water but also a vehicle for the intangible such as emotions,essence or magic. The work in the gallery is partly inspired by this idea, I see my little pieces as contemporary shamanistic objects which hold a power of their own.
Which other artists do you admire?
That's a difficult question as there are so many. I recently discovered the work of Ramesh Nithiyendran which I love, I also admire the work of Claire Curneen, Kristen Brunjes and Grayson Perry.
Could you describe a typical working day?
A typical working day starts how I described it in the first question. I usually start around 10am and work until 3.30pm when my children come back from school. I often go back to the studio ( which incidentally is my utility room) for a few hours in the evening.
How do you see your work evolving in the future?
My work is a journey, so in a way I discover it as I go along. However, working on such small pieces is a very intense and concentrated process. I used to make very large pieces when I worked in bronze, so I would definitely like to work on larger pieces in the near future.