The 100 Brain salad Bowls was an experience-based artwork, that stems from the eagerness to cheer up together and the necessity to re-construct how we can re-connect with people through pandemic times of Corona.
It is all related to social disability, uncertainty, immobility, and fear of physical touch.
HOW did I come up with the project?
I have a lot of experience working with clay in a collective experience. I worked with nomadic communities in India making bricks by hand and building ovens. I have also studied and taught ancient ceramic techniques from original cultures in South America.
Here in The Netherlands, I'm graduated and I have worked as a guest teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy working with the students in the ceramics department.
I consider clay not only as a medium but also as an anthropological way of doing research which allowed me to connect my artwork to people’s behaviors and cultures. This experience gave me the methodology I needed, to take clay as a working device and created this guided art event.
WHY BRAIN Salads bowls?
For a lot of cultures all over the world, clay has been and continues to be a living material which creates an opportunity to shape and give form to reality. I want to invite people to approach clay in the same way. To take the act of making a new brain as a metaphor to socially re-connect through and after corona crisis.
I defined it as a salad bowl because it is a basic volume that fits the amount of clay that has the average weight of an adult human brain.
Besides, it recalls the memory of a dinner table. The experience of enjoying tasty and healthy food together with a lot of people.
Nowadays, because of social distance measures, we have been forced to relate to each other mostly by video conference. When you add to this virtual experience the act of touching the same quality of material, synchronized movements and the same individual and collective goal, it changes the format of communication. From an intellectual exchange of information to an emphatic sensorial collective experience.
I think this event was the perfect transition we all need between lockdown – and - going back to 'normal'.
To know more about my artwork www.su-melo.com