Andree Singer Thompson

Clay in Change

An installation of fired native clays and clay slip. Commissioned for California Clay 1984. 25 feet x 30 feet surrounded by 2 inch stabilized adobe wall filled with sand, liquid clay and fired natural clay rocks from local bay area sites. A barren concrete courtyard in a busy downtown area was the setting of this work commissioned in conjunction with a broad-spectrum competitive clay exhibition.

Focusing on the nature of clay rather than its use as a material for making objects, we created a landscape of sand, rock and slip. In the heat of the summer sun the wet clay changed from a glistening pond reflecting the moon on opening night, to a parched lake bed,
softening again in the rain and holding the impressions of passing animals. Where it met the sand, the clay pulled up in curves reminiscent of waves along the shore. Set into the wet clay were blocks of native clays collected at sites around the Bay Area, fired to a rock-like hardness and placed to contrast their durability against the daily changes of the unfired slip. Within the gallery courtyard, this small garden of clay recorded changes that suggest patterns of larger scale and longer duration, a provocative metaphor for time and earth, and provided a quiet place to contemplate in the midst of its busy
surroundings outside the gallery.

Civic Arts Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

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