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Artist Statement


My mixed media sculptures look at life through the lens of vulnerability, awkwardness, and discomfort, embracing the perspective that ugliness, weakness, and flaws are part of what it means to be human. By creating unusual, awkward relationships between biomorphic ceramic forms and fragmented elements of domestic space, I provoke feelings of discomfort. This discomfort echoes uncomfortable memories or feelings and their lingering effects. By appearing vulnerable, weak, and weird these works reveal how I view myself. 

My current body of work explores the effects that Toxic Masculinity has had on me personally. Feeling the need to maintain a tough, callused exterior while expressing healthy emotions creates a unique paradox. This tension is conveyed in my work through contrasting forms, colors, and textures that are in precarious situations, uncomfortable angles, and references to vulnerable parts of the body. Bodily references are a vital component of my work because I consider the ceramic forms to be representations of myself. Their blobby, structureless forms recreate the contradictory tension I feel about being callused yet sensitive. Decisions about form, surface treatment, and space highlight the awkwardness of each piece and, therefore, question comfort.


                                    -R.J. Sturgess

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