Still Breathing II, porcelain vessel
Still Breathing II, porcelain vessel DETAIL
Still Breathing II, porcelain vessel side

Paula Murray

Still Breathing II, porcelain vessel, 49l x 16.5h x 20.5d cm, 2022.
"When I start with a bucket of porcelain slip, it can take on any shape. The slip is cast into moulds I make from plaster and are in the shape of smooth bowls. I choose to set up a dynamic where the vessels move, warp, fragment and collapse, reflecting aspects of life. I look for ways to support them, accompany them, as they change in response to the stress they embody. Was the support I gave it too much, not allowing it to move as it needed to? Was the support flexible enough to let this new stage in the development of the piece become its best self? Some pots, like people, are easy to love. Others are harder to engage with and I make a conscious choice to work with them trying to see the beauty within. Then the long journey of layering slips and glazes over many subsequent firings is next."
Still Breathing is on exhibition at the Jingdezhen International Ceramics Biennale 12/18/2021 - 11/15/2022, in China.
Still Breathing won the Kito Prize, which includes a three-month residency any time in the next two years.  

"A bowl seen as a metaphor for the human condition holds sacred space. This bowl, on its side, still holds some space, some signs of life. It is still breathing, resilient.

I induce fissures and movement in my porcelain forms through the juxtaposition of clay and fibre-glass, symbolic of how we are essentially composed of the same molecules, just put together differently.  I am manipulating and responding to how this stress changes the shape as it dries. I am concerned with how we respond and engage with the injury of experience - within, with each other, with the other."