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Reed Weir: Drawings in the Sand
Drawings in the Sand 2007
Reed Weir’s ceramic figures are coil-built from a continuous rope-like sausage of clay coiled around and up, then shaped and modeled by hand. When the clay is semi-hard the sculpture is cut open and the walls hollowed to a thickness of one inch or less, then reassembled. Areas of the figures are then painted in black slip (which fires to blue), bisque-fired, under-glaze colours are applied, and then covered completely with a transparent glaze. Again the figures go into the kiln. The transparent glaze melts clear, exposing the under-glaze decoration and slip. At this point Weir paints the figures with on-glaze enamels, and subjects them to a succession of firings at progressively lower temperatures.
Looking and being looked at are the subjective states indicated by Weir’s series of three thigh-deep wading figures, each mounted on her own wooden platform that suggests beach, towel and pier simultaneously. The appropriated motifs hand-drawn on the platforms work to amplify the signifying potential of their associated ceramic figures, which progress along an erotic continuum from childhood, through nubility, to maturity.
Each figure explores a different aspect of the gaze, be it through unself-conscious childhood, or open engagement — someone knowingly participating in and engaging with the gaze of another. In contrast to both of these stances, the young bikini-clad woman in Drawings in the Sand closes her eyes and presses one fist to her temple, coquettishly exposing herself to the hot sun and to the viewer’s gaze. The works as a group create a playground of gazes that bounce back and forth, between and among the sculptures and the audience. As a singular piece, Drawings in the Sand examines a very particular period of a woman’s life, during which the gaze is both solicited and denied; this period mirrored in an art historical context by the motifs on her wooden stage — reclining nudes derived from art of the past.
Reed Weir is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design.
KB and from Chemistry by I. Jenkner