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Artist Statement
Morgan Grasham


My work is informed by my experiences growing up queer in the southern conservative landscape, and my years of working as a taxidermist. I often identified with the unknowability and otherness of animals. Inspired by science fiction and posthumanist theory, my work has come to celebrate the unexpected in the diverse and the unknown. 
I work in faux fur and sculpting epoxy to manifest memories and conceptions of other forms of life. Working in narratives and allegories, my charismatic megafauna reach out their tentacular appendages to offer kinship in an unfamiliar landscape. The times and places we find ourselves are unexpected. As we look to an uncertain future, we play a multispecies game of social, political, and ecological cat’s cradle. I look to other species to find new perceptual modes and ways of thinking and being, in hopes of envisioning and enacting more hopeful futures.  
 

Eric Grasham

My ceramics are rendered in porcelain and colored inclusion stains combined in processes rooted within the practice of laminating clay, called Nerikomi. The pieces themselves are made of landscapes and literally depict them. Within myself are conflicting desires for convenient access to my environment and the loss of biodiversity caused by my unsustainable use of it. This is the core of the conflict within my pieces and the intention in making the work is to embody my relationship with nature as influenced by my cultural context in the US which is often characterized by wanton exploitation of natural resources and destruction of natural habitat. Ornamental designs are often present in my work as a symbolic representation of wealth, hierarchy, and power as well as the growth, life, and patterns present in nature. The pieces I produce are frequently serving vessels in order to reference interpersonal relationships, but formally speak of 19th century American silver smithing. These conceptual parts sublimate into something more approachable, comforting, and capable of inspiring longing. However, the conflict here is in what is served. The vessels are designed to be functional, but to serve used motor oil, polluted water, and other products of exploitation instead of food or drink. The served media is then collected in landscape pieces called Reserve Pits. Using them or seeing them used is to be confronted in visceral performance of the analogy that taking oil from land means you eventually have to put it back. If the purpose of the objects is to represent my relationship with nature, then the performance of them is meant to invoke the moment of self doubt that used to be present in each of us before tossing another plastic bottle into the ravine. I am influenced by early American landscape painting, Impressionism, speculative fiction, eco-activism, Otherness theory, and Science Fiction.