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In the first ceramics exhibition of 2010 at AKAR Gallery, Iowa City, Iowa, Shoko Teruyama brings a playful body of earthenware forms that houses her sgraffito drawings of birds and other animals, vine pattern motifs, and calculated negative space.
The animated narrative on the surface of her work is continuous; to finish its full story, the viewer must turn each piece, rotate each tumbler in their hands. Where bird imagery is used to create focal points, vine ornamentation provides important direction as one's attention is lead around the form and toward the inflated handles and attachments, which ask to be touched. Each piece is made to function as an object of everyday life; however, she sees them as most comfortable enshrined in areas of personal and spiritual resonance, where she found her inspiration for the body of work.
“Growing up in Japan, temples and shrines were everywhere, even inside our home,” Shoko said. “I was drawn to these sacred spaces and ceremonial objects because they were decorated with texture and pattern, contrasted by areas of calm and stillness.”
Featured artist Kurt Anderson accompanies Shoko with his loosely formed, but very functional, ware. His work is saturated by images pulled at random from a jar of his sketches and then collaged together on each pot. For both artists, emphasis is put on the surface. While the overall narrative suggests an intimate personal story tied to the makers, each piece is meant to occupy a new shrine, defined by someone else’s interpretation of the work.
AKAR is free and open to the public Monday-Saturday, 10-6; and Sunday 12-4. For more information, call (319) 341-1227 or visit http://akardesign.com.