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Close to Home was inspired by books like Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll in which animals possess people-like qualities including table manners. I always wondered what would happen if these fantastical table settings happened in real life.

Wildlife is often under the scrutiny of friend, foe, or food, depending on our reactions to them. This project examines the relationship between residents and wildlife in urban and rural areas.  This relationship can at times be confusing.  In the project, as wildlife interacted with the table settings they were captured on film, often leaving their marks on the unfired clay. The marks left by the wildlife, the setting, and the flora of the site all inspire how the surviving pieces were finished. The photography and the video captured on the wildlife became a kind of portraiture of the wildlife inviting deeper consideration of  our understanding of our relationship to wildlife as well as deeper consideration of the value we assign to a functional ceramic object and how the idea of functionality changes depending on the user and the context. 

The work for Close to Home includes a series of ceramic place settings created for specific sites, photography and video of wildlife interacting with the place settings candidly captured by wildlife cameras setup on location, and fiber components made from chargers and table runners manipulated in response to the happenings and stories collected from the public about their encounters with wildlife.

This project was made possible by an ArtSpark grant
awarded to me by ​the Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.

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