This week on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler Podcast I have an interview with ceramic artist Julia Galloway. Her functional porcelain pottery spans a wide range of subject matter and decorative motifs from architecture to cloud forms. She says of her work "A need for beautiful domestic objects and an instinctual drive to create things are tremendous dance partners for idea and desire." In the interview we talk about the role ceramic history plays in her life as an educator, her work ethic, and the way her visual language changed after moving to Montana. She currently serves as a professor and director of the School of Art at the University of Montana. For more information on her work please visit www.juliagalloway.com.
Galloway often presents her functional work within an installation context challenging the viewer to make connections between singular objects and larger ideas. Her 2009 exhibition Quiescent featured hundreds of cups decorated with drawings inspired by John James Audubon's "Birds of North America". She says of Audubon, "Late in his life, (he) realized that he was not going to live long enough to paint all of the birds of North America, so he began to draw with both hands. I relate to his passion for making and am touched by the detailed simplicity of his work."
The exhibition featured a unique form of visual and auditory display. As people picked up the cups an audio recording of the bird on their cup would play creating a symphony of natural sound in the gallery. Her attention to detail within the individual pieces and the overall display of the work set a high standard for exhibiting functional pottery.