Ubiquitous forms inhabit our daily lives: leftover food containers, empty soap bottles, cheap plastic and discarded Styrofoam. They are timid objects and hollow shells; they have empty cavities, overlooked and invisible interior spaces.
I give discarded spaces body, weight and assertive presence. I fill them with plaster, cutting, sanding and combining shapes to create voluminous new forms for serving. Cast in porcelain, they become lavish and durable.
In the home, the objects are both familiar and strange. They are ambiguous serving vessels, inviting the viewer to imagine the scenarios in which they might be used. Their oddity makes them impractical for everyday use, marking them as special occasion objects, porcelain pedestals for frosted cakes and canapés. What is “that one perfect bite” which might fit into the shallow serving bowl?
Optimistic volumes arranged in stacks and tiered levels, elevated to different heights, create tabletop landscapes reminiscent of elegant party displays. Demonstrative, they reference marketing and window displays, products in seductive colors and glittering materials strategically arranged with the intent to allure. Through repetitive casting and playful staging, I create a paradise in which every serving vessel is bright and gleaming; a dream world where everything appears perfect. I aim for the implication of many, for the promise of the party, for the anticipation of joy and companionship. The heart of my work is the capturing of an ideal.
Kelly Brenner Justice is currently the Ceramic Studio Manager at the Flower City Arts Center (formerly known as Genesee Center for Arts and Education) in Rochester, New York. She received her MFA in Ceramics in 2015 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
Before moving to New York, Kelly received a Bachelor of Art in English and a Minor in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas in 2010. After graduating, she continued to take ceramics courses from the University of Arkansas while also working at the Walton Arts Center (2010-2013). She has participated in exhibitions in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington.