War Child

Nicholas, Age 16

  • Sculpture
  • Clay
  • 300(w) 600(h) 200(d) mm

I built this ceramic piece as part of a series of artworks inspired by photographs of children whose life has been torn apart by war. This is unfortunately a perpetually current issue. I was particularly interested in expressing feelings of emptiness and loss of hope. The specific ceramic piece takes the form of a boy that stares directly to the viewer with a blank, resigned expression, questioning the reasoning of his incomprehensible situation.
In order to develop the form of this piece, I drew inspiration from the burnished and reduction smoked ceramic artworks of Magdalene Odundo, as well as from the visual language of Henry Moore. After sculpting the hollow clay form of the boy, I covered it with terra sigillata and burnished it. Subsequently, after a first bisque firing, I coloured the piece with a metallic salts wash. Finally, the piece was saggar fired, using wood shavings.