The Wright stuff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” As Paige Wright put it, she likes to make work that “sparks” her “fancy.” If that means sculpting ceramic heads that look to be screaming, so be it. If it means making a pair of intensely realistic hands, that works, too. A graduate of the University of Montana, the Carbondale Clay Center artist-in-residence has always been fascinated with the body. She got on her current “head kick,” however, while at a post-graduate year at the University of Washington in Seattle. During CCC’s Nine Month Residents’ Art Show in April, you might have a caught a glimpse of her craniums.
During a recent interview, she admitted that, yeah, some of her work is dark, a little unsettling. Still, those are emotions she wants to explore. These days, she said, she only makes her work for herself.
Here are a few excepts from the conversation.
Why ceramics? What drew you to the medium? “My sister and I have always been really expressive.”
When Wright was 9, the pair took an art workshop together. Wright became enthralled by ceramics.
“I just kind of really liked it, liked throwing clay around.”
This continued through high school, when ceramics and sports were the only things she felt she was good at.
“My teacher said I could go to school for ceramics. I looked at her like, (a) she was crazy and (b) that was the coolest thing she could have said to me.”
What keeps you making art? “It changes all the time, especially in the last two years.”
“I don’t do a lot of planning in my sketchbook anymore. A lot of my inspirations come from color and shapes, whatever comes around with this love of rendering I have.”
What draws you to the body? “My parents are both in the medical profession. My dad’s an anesthesiologist. Just the way the body is kind of made up of rubber bands. My analogy is that the body is made up of pieces of wood, connected by rubber bands, covered by this thick latex.”
“Other people’s bodies and other people’s facial structures are such a neat phenomenon, how we are all so different with the same material.”
What are you trying to say with this work? “So, this is something I’ve kind of been frustrated with lately.”
“When I put something together it’s sort of a spew of my brain. It’s not so much a statement. It’s a feeling that I’m trying to get out of people, I guess. It’s hard, because now I make art for myself, when before I used to make art for other people, so they would listen to me. So now, if they like it, if they get something out of it, fine.”
Some of your heads are kind of intense and dark. Is that what you’re going for? “Yeah, I guess. If I scare people, that’s cool, but it’s like, what am I saying when I scare them?”
“I guess it’s just to make you feel something, to have a reaction. And I guess grotesque and intense images make me have a reaction, make me wonder why.”
What are your future artistic aspirations? “I’d love to be a tenured professor at a big university. That would be my dream career and what I’m trying to get to someday.”
What’s the most important thing in your life? “I guess it would be moderation. It’s like, I can’t do my art all the time, or else it wouldn’t be as potent, and I can’t hang out with my boyfriend all the time, even though I like hanging out with him. It all has its ebb and flow.”
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
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