Sunday, September 07, 2008


This is another interesting artist statement, part of our new collection of artist statements of contemporary artist.


Clay is my chosen material; ceramics is my chosen medium. I cannot do what I do with any other material or process; clay and its firing process usually allow me to manifest my ideas best.

I have always been fascinated by human form and tend to use this as a starting point in my work. My work questions various stages of life, which are determined primarily by the biological development of the body from birth to death. I see the human life cycle as an experience containing many beginnings and endings many "births and deaths"; the connection between the beginning and ending of life is a continual source of inspiration. I am observant of how powerful time can be and am intrigued by the many ways in which we are affected by its passage. The changes that take place over time are frighteningly subtle.

Some of my work is directly concerned with the relationship between clothing and growth and clothing and skin. Each has the potential to encompass physical as well as emotional concerns. The body, when patterned, usually refers to clothing... to some degree. I enjoy the ambiguity that this situation presents. Furthermore, I see our clothing and/or appearance as being capable of summing up who or what we are yet it is only a facade; the ideas of mask, disguise, transformation and identity are fundamental to my concerns.

The ceramic surfaces I obtain are a vital component of my work through which I intend to confront the viewer's attention with the outermost "skin" of the work. I am attracted to heavily worn, patinated surfaces that reveal the "history" of an object. I see our skin as having the same potential as the surfaces by which I am intrigued. Throughout our life as we age our appearance inevitably and slowly changes and in the process our skin records this story.

Tom Bartel
If interested in contacting Tom Bartel, please send e-mail to
His Bio is at

He will in a group show at October 9-November 6, 2008:

Hammes Gallery goes….PINK! A ceramic sculpture exhibition curated by Prof. Sandi Ginter and Helen Otterson. Featuring work by: Tom Bartel, David East, Jeannie Hulen, Lisa Conway, Erin Furimsky, Sandi Ginter and Helen Otterson.

Hammes Gallery is located in the Moreau Center for the Arts at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10am-4pm; closed campus holidays

No comments:

*/ /* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */