Ceramic by Eilean Eland
As a sculptor, I am interested in two main themes: abstract responses to organic natural forms such as shells, rocks, bones and plants, and also the female form. These themes inter-relate. I love the way natural swelling organic forms recur in the female form and I also respond strongly to the forms, rhythms and colours of the coast.
I hand-build in clay, working very intuitively and responding to forms as they emerge. I want to achieve dynamic curving movement with a strong and rhythmic three-dimensional quality. The textured and coloured surfaces enhance the forms which are highly tactile, and I use slips and oxides to increase the dramatic potential of the three-dimensional elements.
The work in the Coastal Blues series has a strong maritime flavour. I spend a lot of time on the beach and as my studio overlooks Bideford Bay I watch the colour of the sea changing and this finds expression in the sculpture. I use a slip I make from the clay on Westward Ho! beach (which comes from a pre-historic forest) to give a sense of place and to ground the work in both place and time. In a personal way, the sculptures embody experience of change, re-growth and the reinvigoration of identity.
I work with a grogged high-fired clay that is appropriate for display outdoors. Fired to 1250 degrees, stoneware clay is wind and weather-proof.
An calm and elegant form that evokes the sharp forms of cliffs at Hartlanf Quay and the marine blue of the Torridge estuary on a still day.