Louise Deroualle

My work is an abstracted representation of me: my identity, the way in which I relate to others and understand the environment I am in. I use ceramic materials to create formal abstractions that reveal different facets—physical, experiential, emotional—of myself. Working with clay is my form of being.
            The artwork I create is influenced by the different cultural experiences to which I have been exposed and the way those interactions build my identity. Cultural and language barriers provoke a sense of displacement and generate a wide range of emotional reactions that shape my perception of and interaction with the outer world. I translate these feelings into my objects through expressive surfaces created by the layering of ceramic materials. Like my own skin, the surfaces of my pieces are thin and fragile barriers between the internal and external world. And like skin, the cracks, blisters, and wrinkles that texture the surfaces of my works record time and stories, veiling and yet revealing who we are.
            Slips and glazes have endless possibilities of behavior, and respond differently when layered on top of particular clays and fired to different temperatures. Slips are made of clay, a dry and solid material, while glazes are primarily made out of glass, a liquid substance. I subvert the traditional order of layering glazes over slips and utilize the fluidity of the glaze layer underneath as a symbol of my inner world of emotions as well as my cultural identity. The stress between the fluid and dry layers of materials results in a partial glimpse into the emotional interior. The slips become an external barrier, while glazes turn into an extremely powerful emotion that always finds its way to the outer reality.      
            The concrete and physical nature of the ceramic materials gives my work a present sense of the real, while the surfaces invite the viewer to create their own interpretation of an imagined place. This dual perception of my work creates a conceptual overlap between object and image, reality and imagination, physicality and emotion. The constant presence of opposites in my work creates a dialectic tension and allows my sculptures to be a place of reflection and understanding of the self. My work conceives meaning through the language of abstraction. Subtlety plays a veiling role in my sculptures; I intend the work to be revealed through a quiet and introspective moment of interaction between the viewer and the piece. Through careful observation, the work unfolds itself and allows the viewer to access the many different layers of material and meaning, rewarding them for their engagement.

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